Private Hospitals Association Committed to New Era of Partnership to Meet Greater Patient Needs in Coming Decade
PHA Conference notes 8 in 10 people favour joint approach by public and private to resolve acute hospital waiting lists
Dublin, 25 November 2021 – A sizable majority of Irish people believe healthcare in Ireland should be planned and delivered by the public and private healthcare sectors both working in partnership to help address the country’s key acute hospital problems. The finding contained in research published this morning by the Private Hospitals Association also highlights a fall in public support and understanding of Sláintecare, with 46% of those surveyed considering that the key aims of Sláintecare are achievable.
The research results which are being presented at a special conference hosted by the Private Hospitals Association in Dublin today, reveal that amongst 1000 people recently surveyed, 65% admitted to having a poor understanding of Sláintecare and its goals.
While 62% of those surveyed believe that private care should be removed from the public hospital system, almost 7 out of 10 surveyed (69%) believe healthcare in Ireland should be planned and delivered by both the private and public sectors working in partnership rather than on a separate basis. An even more sizable 83% of people say both sectors should work jointly to clear the large backlog that exists in hospital waiting lists.
Private Hospitals Association member hospitals operate almost one-third of the acute hospitals in Ireland. PHA members treat over 400,000 patients annually in 18 hospitals located throughout Ireland.
The half-day conference event which will be addressed later this morning by Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, will be focussing on the changing relationship between private hospitals and the wider health sector in Ireland; the key lessons being learned from the COVID-19 pandemic; and the potential for new partnership models aimed at addressing the pressing health needs of our population.
In his keynote address to the Conference, incoming Chairman Bill Maher, will highlight the potential for a new era of engagement, collaboration and partnership between the private and public healthcare systems in Ireland following on from the experiences gathered over the extraordinary 20 month period since the Covid-19 pandemic took hold here. “While there can be few silver linings arising from a global pandemic, one significant positive we can point to is the greater level of understanding that now exists between our sectors arising from our shared experiences since March 2018. This, in my view, paves the way for new pathways of working and collaborating together that will achieve improved outcomes for all patients.”
A special focus of the conference will be on current and future trends in private health care – how patient care will evolve over the next five to ten years and the priorities for investment to ensure provision of the most up-to-date and appropriate treatments. The Conference is also looking at the partnership role with health insurers going forward and the global trend of focusing on keeping people in good health, as well as making them better.
The event comes at an important juncture as the fallout continues from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Irish healthcare delivery; as outpatient waiting lists in Ireland approach record highs and significant questions are being asked about the national strategy on the future of health care, Sláintecare.
The Private Hospitals Association Conference which takes place online will come live from the Herbert Park Hotel and feature a range of speakers including the Minister for Health, private healthcare providers, insurers, health economists, pharma and med-tech leaders and the HSE. A full schedule of speakers and registration details are available here. There is no cost to attend online but all participants must register in advance.
KEY RESEARCH FINDINGS
- 62% of people believe private care should be removed from the public hospital system
- 69% believed healthcare in Ireland should be planned and delivered by both sectors working together in partnership rather than on a standalone basis – 31% say it should be standalone
- The public is divided on whether Sláintecare is achievable – 46% deemed it achievable, 54% said not.
- 62% say it will take at least 15-20 years to implement Sláintecare if at all.
- 69% also believe that both sectors should also work in partnership to deliver the extra 2,600 new hospital beds promised under Sláintecare over the next 15 years.
- 83% say hospital waiting lists should be tackled in partnership with the private system rather than the public system seeking to resolve the problem alone.
- 58% of those surveyed had private health insurance.
- Of the 50% of those who had recently sought to access private healthcare, 67% of those described their experience as either very good or good, 21% as okay and 12% as poor.
The full iReach Survey details can be viewed here
iReach Insights conducted the research on behalf of the Private Hospitals Association (PHA). The research conducted is nationally representative in Ireland.
About the Private Hospitals Association
The Private Hospitals Association (PHA) is the representative body for the independently-funded hospital sector in Ireland. Our 18 member hospitals play an essential role in the delivery of acute and mental health services, accounting for almost one-third of the acute hospitals in Ireland and employing close to 20% of staff in the sector and:
- Offer over 1,000,000 bed nights to the Irish healthcare system each year
- Care for over 400,000 patients annually
- Carry out over 250,000 surgical procedures including over half of all spinal and cardiac surgeries
- Are fully accredited by internationally recognised accreditation bodies
- Employ over 8,000 highly-trained, professional staff across the country