With healthcare right up there with housing in terms of the issues that Irish citizens are concerned about, new research from B&A shows that Irish people have a deeply jaundiced view of our healthcare system.
The research forms part of a much wider 2023 IRIS Public Confidence Study which is carried out by the IRIS Global Network of Institutes, with the Irish leg of the research undertaken by B&A. Nearly 19,000 people were surveyed across 27 countries. A nationally representative sample of 500 to 1,000 adults was interviewed in each country, with 1,000 interviewed in Ireland by B&A.
The Irish research found that just 2% believe that our health system is “excellent”, significantly below the global average of seven percent. We are joint second-lowest in this appraisal in the context of the 27 countries surveyed, with Greece and Bulgaria bring up the rear (1%). Just one in five (20%) believe that our healthcare system is basically good – again, significantly below both the global average and among the northern European block of nations.
One in four (26%) believe that regardless of previous investment, the system is actually deteriorating. That said, there is a general consensus globally that this is also the case; it is not necessarily an Irish phenomenon.
More worryingly however, is that over half (53%) believe that our health care system is in a state of crisis; far ahead of the global average of 25%. On this metric, we are the laggards globally, and are the only country to register a majority agreement on this sentiment. It would seem that regardless of investment pumped into the system on an annual basis, the public are not seeing any dividends. With this week’s budget again having had to take account of a substantial deficit in the coffers of the health system, there is a sense of consternation that things are not getting any better.
According to the B&A research, this is reflected in just over one in four (27%) feel that the reason for our dissatisfaction is due to a lack of funding; below the global average (36%). The public are more likely to agree that the issue in Ireland is more so the allocation and management of resources as opposed to an investment shortfall – nearly three in four (73%) of the population believing that inefficient management of the system is the primary reason for our travails.
Following on from this, the research notes, that approval ratings for the Government’s handling of healthcare are at the lower end of the spectrum globally (fourth lowest). Less than one in four (23%) somewhat/strongly approve of our strategies, versus 77% who are dissatisfied.
As a result, it is unsurprising that we lack confidence that our healthcare services are of a world standard – just over one in five (22%) express faith that our services are among the best in the world – 43% of us are not at all confident of this proposition.
Finally, when asked how we care for the health of those most vulnerable in society, we are again at the lower end of the spectrum – just three in ten (29%) voice confidence that we are doing a good job, significantly below the global average.