More competition for health insurers

There are now well over half a million more people insured than there were when BUPA Ireland entered the market back in 1997: the proportion of the population covered by health insurance has risen from 36 per cent to over 49 per cent. That's over half a million people who are not relying solely on the already over-stretched health services for their health care needs. Over 150,000 of these have joined Vhi Healthcare, a company whose profits have soared since the advent of competition, while its reserves have risen nearly four fold to over €330m in February 2004.

Elderly neglected since 1968

For the last thirty years, numerous reports have attempted to provoke Government action on nursing homes, but to no avail. By Hilary Curley

the tip of the iceberg

A single incident, however momentous, does not guarantee that concerned individuals will view the event as an example of a larger problem, and organise to solve it".*

Health service executive loses second CEO in six months

To lose one CEO might be considered unfortunate. To lose two is careless. To lose three... Mary Harney faces further embarassment as the second person to head the six-month-old Health Service Executive (HSE) has stepped down before taking up office. The deal broke down on the night of Wednesday 2 June, between Brendan Drumm and the HSE.

Nurses undervalued and underpaid

In the week that Mary Harney addresses the nurses at their annual conference, low pay, poor working conditions and differences over the training of care assistants may lead to industrial action. Hilary Curley reports

Illegal health system

Mary Harney's claims to have acted decisively on residential charges don't stand up. She also dithered on an even more significant looming legal crisis for the health service. By Vincent Browne

Nothing to smile about

Disabled children are 30 per cent more likely to have dental decay, than non-disabled children and disabled adults are 20 per cent more likely to have no teeth at all if they are over 55, when compared with non-disabled adults.