IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Public/Private Mix in Irish Acute Public Hospitals: Trends and Implications


  • Jacqueline O'Reilly

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))

  • Miriam M. Wiley

    (Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI))


The public/private mix in Irish health care is nowhere more evident than in the acute hospital system where both public and private patients can be treated in public hospitals by the same consultant. By undertaking new analyses of data from the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry Scheme, this study investigates this public/private mix and its impact on utilisation of hospital services. Demand- and supply-side factors were both found to be statistically significant in explaining the ratio of private to public discharges across hospitals and over time. Private discharges are found to have higher levels of utilisation of surgical procedures, even though the level of comorbidity did not appear to be any greater for this group. The analysis also found that ?excess utilisation? of public hospital facilities by private discharges in particular hospitals increased over the time period of the study. Despite limitations of available data and methods, this study provides useful insights into the factors driving private and public utilisation in the acute public hospital system in Ireland.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacqueline O'Reilly & Miriam M. Wiley, 2007. "The Public/Private Mix in Irish Acute Public Hospitals: Trends and Implications," Papers WP218, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp218

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2007
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Agnès Couffinhal & Michel Grignon & Marc Perronnin, 2004. "Access to physician services: does supplemental insurance matter? Evidence from France," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 669-687.
    2. Luigi Siciliani & Jeremy Hurst, 2003. "Explaining Waiting Times Variations for Elective Surgery Across OECD Countries," OECD Health Working Papers 7, OECD Publishing.
    3. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-277, June.
    4. David Madden & Anne Nolan & Brian Nolan, 2005. "GP reimbursement and visiting behaviour in Ireland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(10), pages 1047-1060.
    5. Antonia Morga & Ana Xavier, "undated". "Hospital specialists' private practice and its impact on the number of NHS patients treated and on the delay for elective surgery," Discussion Papers 01/01, Department of Economics, University of York.
    6. Nolan, Anne & Nolan, Brian, 2004. "Ireland's Health Care System: Some Issues and Challenges," Papers HRBWP14, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    7. Nolan, Anne & Nolan, Brian, 2003. "A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Utilisation of GP Services in Ireland: 1987-2001," Papers HRBWP01, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    8. Miriam M. Wiley, 2005. "The Irish health system: developments in strategy, structure, funding and delivery since 1980," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(S1), pages 169-186.
    9. Nolan, Brian, 2004. "Health Insurance in Ireland: Issues and Challenges," Papers HRBWP10, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    10. Colm Harmon & Brian Nolan, 2001. "Health insurance and health services utilization in Ireland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 135-145.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp218. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sarah Burns). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.