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

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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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