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Two-Tier Health System in Ireland Means Patients Less Likely to Get Early Diagnosis for Serious Illness, Report Finds

People who are unable to afford private medical insurance in Ireland are disadvantaged when they need to have tests to diagnose serious conditions, according to a new report, writes The Irish Times.

Ireland’s two-tier health service means patients are less likely to get an early diagnosis for a serious illness, such as a brain tumour, if they cannot pay for private diagnostics, according to the report by the think tank Tasc. The report states the average wait for a brain MRI through the public system is 126 days, while private patients wait just six days. The report examines access to diagnosis for three different conditions: a common cancer such as lung cancer; a rare one such as a brain tumour; and autism spectrum disorder, a complex condition, across three countries with different health systems – Ireland, Germany and Spain.

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