beyond rhetoric: access to mainstream health services in Ireland
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beyond rhetoric: access to mainstream health services in Ireland

John Sweeney Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Ireland

It has been over a decade since the last major review of the services for people with a learning disability in Ireland. John Sweeney asks how much longer will they have to wait for equal access to general health services

It has been argued that Ireland is atypical among its European neighbours in skewing healthcare provision towards the hospital sector and by denial of universal free access to primary health care at the point of use (Wren 2003). This paper sets out to review access to primary and secondary health services for the 27,760 people with an intellectual disability living in Ireland (Mulvany 2001). They live in a variety of settings, including psychiatric hospitals, campus-based, residential and family homes (Connelly 2002).

Learning Disability Practice. 7, 1, 28-33. doi: 10.7748/ldp2004.02.7.1.28.c1550

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