[Sinn Fein]

12 May 2002

New TCD report exposes two-tier health system

A new report that shows the health risks facing more than a third of Tallaght's population who do not have private health insurance or are not eligible for a Medical Card is independent evidence of the two-tier health service, Sinn Fein Councillor Seán Crowe said today.

The report, People Living in Tallaght and Their Health, was commissioned by the Adelaide Hospital Society and carried out by Trinity College Dublin among thirteen hundred (1,300) people in 420 households.

The report found that there are "high levels of chronic illness and disability" in the area. It said that because one in three people either do not have private health insurance or cannot get a Medical Card, "a sizeable vulnerable minority are dependent on the public services or their own financial sources for health care".

Sinn Fein's Dublin South-West general election candidate, Councillor Seán Crowe, said:

"This report is independent evidence that people are suffering from a two-tier health system that discriminates on the basis of how much you earn rather than how much you need treatment and care."

Sinn Fein is campaigning for the extension of the Medical Card to people on the minimum wage and everyone under 18 in full-time education and a single waiting list that ensures access to treatment on the basis of need.

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