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Demographic factors and attitudes that influence the support of the general public for the introduction of universal healthcare in Ireland: A national survey

Catherine D. Darker, Erica Donnelly-Swift and Lucy Whiston

Health Policy, 2018, vol. 122, issue 2, 147-156

Abstract: Ireland is still struggling to end the inequitable two-tiered health system and introduce universal healthcare (UHC). Public opinion can influence health policy choice and implementation. However, the public are rarely asked for their views. This study describes the demographic and attitudinal factors that influence the support of the public for the introduction of UHC. It provides data on a nationally representative survey sample of n=972. There are high levels of support for the introduction of UHC (n=846 87.0%). Logistic regression analyses indicated that demographic factors, such as, the location of respondent, whether the respondent was in receipt of Government supported healthcare, a purchaser of private health insurance or neither; plus attitudinal factors, such as, opinions on the Government prioritising healthcare, healthcare being free at the point of access, taxes being increased to provide care free at the point of access and how well informed participants felt about UHC were associated with agreeing with the introduction of UHC in Ireland. This paper is timely for policy leaders both in Ireland and internationally as countries with UHC, such as the United Kingdom, are facing difficulties maintaining health services in the public realm.

Keywords: Universal healthcare; Healthcare access; General public; Stakeholder analyses; Ireland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:hepoli:v:122:y:2018:i:2:p:147-156