Patients who are enrolled in Ireland’s public health system are waiting, on average, 120 days more for a brain MRI compared to those who can afford private coverage, the Irish Times reports.
The report, published by “left-leaning” think tank Tasc, looked at access to testing for common cancers, rarer conditions such as brain tumors, and more complex conditions like autism spectrum disorder. The findings should serve as a “wake-up call” for Ireland and its two-tiered healthcare system, report author Kirsty Doyle said.
“It is yet another wake-up call to the need to put in place a universal, single-tier health service based around the principles of timely access and care driven by need rather than the ability to pay,” she told the Irish Times. “The longer we wait the more diagnoses are likely to be missed, the more people are likely to continue to get sicker, be denied a fulfilling life or even die unnecessarily or prematurely from the types of conditions we have examined.”
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