Irish Apartheid. Healthcare Inequality in Ireland now published

Posted in Book by saraburke on June 23, 2009

Irish Apartheid jkt final

If you like this blog, you may want to get ‘Irish Apartheid, Healthcare Inequality in Ireland’. It can be bought it in all good Irish book shops and on line from New Island and from Amazon.

9 Responses

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  1. john bourke said, on June 27, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Just read your article in Irish Times- Apartheid nature of health system must end- interesting analysis. I particularly noted your comment that ‘ a swift and hushed privatisation of key aspects of the public health system was being led from the highest ministerial offices in the land’.
    Some years ago I attended the Private Healthcare Network Inaugural meeting. It was held in the Grosvenor Suite of Berkeley Court Hotel. The subject matter was the primary care strategy/ colocation of private hospitals etc. There must have been over 500 people in the room- bankers, solicitors, developers etc. I wondered if healthcare was becoming in ‘noughties’ what property had been in the nineties?
    I am a pharmacist. Do you follow this aspect of primary healthcare? If so what are your views on the latest cuts which it is estimated will close about 300 pharmacies?


    • saraburke said, on June 30, 2009 at 9:22 am

      I totally agree with you. I went to the same private healthcare conference this year it was extraordinary, although much less upbeat as you can imagine. But yes, in my opinion when the car parks were built, the apartments and hotel markets’ swamped, the government gave tax break to the same developers to move into the healthcare market.
      I have not sufficiently followed the lot of the pharmacies but will try do so more….


  2. Gemma Hensey said, on June 28, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I was really delighted with Sat’s article. something should be done to stop the PD type influence on our health services. consultants are paid enough and let them decide whether they want to wrok in the publilc or private practice but NOT both. The same goes for hospitals -no private hospitals should be built on or near public hospitals. Let them stand alone or sink!

    • saraburke said, on June 30, 2009 at 9:27 am

      I agree.

  3. Cygnus Atratus said, on July 1, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Firstly, congratulations on your first born, so to speak. Secondly, a profound thank you for taking on this mammoth task of decrypting the HSE for layperson and politician alike. I believe many of our public representatives don’t have anything more than a cursory grasp on the waste and mismanagement of our public health sector. I hope your book will be as illuminating and widely read in the corridors of power as it will be in the wider public arena.

    I (optimistically) dream of the day when our society really matures to understand the implications of living in a social democracy. Perhaps then we will understand that certain things like education and healthcare need to be treated as if they were basic Human Rights. To me they are as important as food, water and shelter.

    “If it’s too big to fail, then it’s too big to be privately owned” – you may have heard that axiom recently in relation to our banks, but I also believe we should extend that to certain aspects of our public infrastructure in general. The health service would be no exception – under no circumstances should there be any commercial interest in between the patient and the clinicians choice of treatment.

    The only time private equity should come into contact with our health service is when the government issues “Health Bonds” as a way to further fund a national health service with a guaranteed return. Have I dreamed a dream too far there?

    Cygnus Atratus

  4. Stephen Kinsella said, on August 13, 2009 at 10:25 am


    I’ve just bought Irish Apartheid after reading your Irish Times piece, and read it cover to cover in one sitting. It’s a brilliant read. Well done, and good luck with your PhD!



  5. mcdonalds coupon said, on September 13, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Thank you much for that well written post.

  6. PaulDonegan said, on May 4, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Hi Sara,
    I wondered if you think it would be advantageous to set up a public campaign to firstly, campaign vigorously against the imposition of fees (50c) per item on prescriptions for medical card holders and long-term illness scheme participants (not introduced on May 1st, but still promised in the Autumn Dail session by Harney) : and secondly, and most importantly, to campaign for the introduction of a social/universal health insurance (free at point of access, priority based on medical need not ability to pay) as soon as possible. We know Fianna Fail will never bring this in, but we need to hold Labour and Fine Gael to their stated commitments to this model. It must be done immediately on the election of a new government, to end the health apartheid you have described. If there isn’t an organised, high-profile campaign to keep this issue alive and prominent, I fear it will get buried as economic and political considerations distract a fledgling government. The public need to be right behind this from here on in, and see how it will benefit all of them and not just mean extra taxes. I wondered if you would get involved in setting up such a campaign. I have worked as a care assistant on hospital wards and seen the dire state of our hospitals first-hand.

    • saraburke said, on May 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

      Thanks for the positive suggestion although can’t find enough hours in the day to do what I do at the moment (juggling policy analysis, journalism and stuuy) and not sure its my role but thanks for the food for thought… Anyone else who could run with it out there?

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