Care 'should not be linked to location'


OLDER PEOPLE'S ALLIANCE:OLDER PEOPLE’S access to palliative and end-of-life care, dementia care or carer supports should not depend on geographic location, the Older and Bolder alliance has said.

The group of organisations representing or working with older people is calling for the next government to introduce a universal system of health and social care.

Age, the ability to afford health insurance and where a person lives can affect access to health care, Older and Bolder director Patricia Conboy said.

“The problems in the current system, such as inadequate capacity, overcrowding and long delays, affect all Irish people, but they do not affect us equally.”

Access to healthcare services, particularly hospice or other end- of-life care, varied across the State, the alliance said.

Older people valued their medical cards, but the services covered were being reduced and new costs such as prescription charges and routine dental expenses were being imposed, while recent increases in health insurance costs had priced older people without medical cards out of the market.

“We need to dismantle our unequal two-tier system and replace it with a universal system of health and social care,” Ms Conboy said.