WAITING TIMES IN Irish hospital emergency departments are the worst in Europe, according to a new study.
The 2015 European Health Consumer Index (EHCI) gives Ireland an overall ranking of 21st out of 35 countries, up one position from 2014 but down seven places since 2013.
Irish hospitals also rank poorly in a comparison of waiting times for CT scans and minor operations, but score high for access to medicines.
“Through a very dedicated effort”, the study says, Ireland brought its MRSA resistance rates down from 40-45% in 2008 to 20% last year.
The report notes that “a total ban on abortion” is no longer in place but that the provisions of the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act represent “a very minor step”.
The survey goes on to question the validity of HSE statistics, stating that Irish patient organisations have been “radically more pessimistic” than official data in their responses to EHCI surveys.
“As the same pessimistic results reoccurred in 2015… doubts must be raised on the validity of official statistics,” it says.
The annual index analyses national healthcare systems across 48 areas, including patient rights and information, access to care, treatment outcomes, and the range and reach of services.
The list, compiled by Swedish private company Health Consumer Powerhouse, ranks the Dutch health system as the top performing and Montenegro’s as the worst.
Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia and Estonia are all placed ahead of Ireland in terms of overall performance.