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Poorest have the worst experience of public services in Ireland

A new ESRI study on public services has found that Irish people give the health system a lower rating than that of almost every other system in western Europe.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE POOREST PEOPLE in Ireland have the worst experiences of public services, a new study has found.

Those who are the least well-off and thus rely most on public services rate the quality of those services below the rest of Irish society.

The study, which compared responses across Europe, also found that Irish people gave the health service one of the lowest ratings among fifteen countries in western Europe.

Only public education received a high public rating from Irish people compared to EU standards.

People classified as economically vulnerable gave lower ratings to all services except education.

The study, Quality of Public Services, was based on responses obtained before recent cuts to public services began.

The ESRI study controlled for some factors relating to the personal experience people had of services, such as difficulty accessing health care and a lack of local public transport.

Commenting on the findings, the author of the study Dr Dorothy Watson said that feedback from users of public services could be used to improve the quality of the services.

“The Government commitment to ‘customer focus’ needs to be given real content by involving the public, especially the least well-off, in the design of public services and in monitoring quality,” she said.

“A beginning can be made right now”.

The research used the European Quality of Life Survey for its findings.

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