‘Say nothing for a wee while, and then say nothing at all’: Still hiding the evidence on health inequalities in Ireland
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Social and spatial inequalities in health status and health service access are pervasive throughout Ireland. However, they rarely form the subject of prolonged public scrutiny. It is clear that the Irish Government has systematically under-funded and stifled attempts to explore health inequalities. What little data exists on health inequalities in Ireland is routinely out of date, or has been the subject of media manipulation in order to minimise its impact. Critically important information to explore such inequalities, such as routine small area mortality data, postcodes or ethnic identifiers simply do not exist in Ireland. Similarly, mortality data is not routinely analysed by social class, occupation, wealth or educational level in Ireland. Ireland’s blatantly two-tier health system reinforces health inequalities, while future health service developments, ostensibly designed to foster the health of those most at most need, are subject to parochial favouritism.
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