This will be quick. The AAA/PBP health policy is short. The one line summary from their manifesto is
- Creation of a National Health Service free to all at the point of access, with greater investment in all areas including mental health, and the promotion of alternative treatments over prescribing medications
The full version is only slightly longer. They do propose reducing health inequalities by reducing wealth inequalities, which is a good idea, and would have some effect. They plan to abolish HSE, and replace it with ‘democratically elected Community Health Councils and an Independent Agency of Public Health Promotion that works with a responsible and accountable Department of Health’. This is not a good idea – abolishing HSE would paralyse health care change in Ireland for a minimum of three years.
They suggest building more primary care centres, which would be run by public servants. They do not mention general practice once. Like almost everyone else they want to remove prescription charges, although they are not clear about which ones – medical card, or all charges. There is a heavy focus on mental health, which is welcome, including making non-drug therapy more widely available, and a commitment to implement Vision for Change.
There are no costs, and no details given about the implementation of these policies. All in all a pretty poor effort. It may be more a negotiating position than a serious policy.