Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on May 15, 2009

Sara Burke is a journalist, broadcaster and health policy analyst. She has a weekly health slot on RTE Radio 1’s Drivetime programme, which is usually aired on a Thursday, but can go out other days, depending on breaking news.

She has  just written a book on the Irish health system called Irish Apartheid, Healthcare Inequality in Ireland, which will be published by New Island at the end of June 2009. Her writings and thoughts are regulars features in Irish newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programmes. 

She is currently in year one of  a PhD in Health Service Research in Trinity College Dublin. This is part of a joint programme with University College Cork and Royal  College of Surgeons in Ireland. 

From 2004 to 2006, Sara worked as managing editor in Village magazine, a weekly political magazine edited by Vincent Browne. She still writes occasionally for its new incarnation under the editorship of Michael Smith. 

She has worked in, researched and written on inequalities in public health, health and social services since 1992.

From 2000 to 2004, she was a policy analyst in the Institute of Public Health, an all Ireland organisation, which advises governments, North and South, on strategies to reduce health inequalities. For two and half years in the late 1990s, she worked as a researcher and policy officer in the Department of Health.

From 1992 to 1997, she worked an outreach street worker for Focus Ireland with homeless teenagers in Dublin’s city centre.

3 Responses

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  1. Sarah Gillespie said, on June 27, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Sara, do you have private health insurance?

    • saraburke said, on July 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm

      Yes I do. For historical and family reasons. I have always been part of a family policy. I think hard about it. i think it is wrong. I have never had to avail of it and recently when I needed the health system I choose the public route for clinical rather than cost reasons. I think pragmatically that if you can afford it, it probably makes sense to have private health insurance in Ireland as it is relatively cheap (compared to real costs) and because it allows you “to skip the queue”. Of course I don’t agree that one should skip the queue and much of my journalism and health policy work is about making the case for a one tiered quality public health system. But when its my mum or dad that needs diagnosis and treatment, I want them to get that treatment as soon as is possible, and I know that they can get that through their private health insurance.
      What about you?

  2. Patrick Lydon said, on June 30, 2009 at 10:07 am

    I read your article in Saturday’s Irish Times with great interest. I know little about hospital development or policy, but I have had long experience with the health services and now the HSE, and believe that the whole system is ever more and more dysfunctional. As a good friend and long-serving HSE executive said recently, its like watching a car crash — in slow motion. A tragedy for all concerned. I try not to be actively negative because that only attracts more disaster….
    All the best, and I hope you and all the rest of us can bust the Apartheid!
    Patrick Lydon

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