The health sector is one of the most important sectors in a country. It determines the progress or downfall of a country, and it’s also in collaboration with the other sectors.
Covid-19 has shown us that health care workers are like soldiers going to the war front, except they don’t fight with people but with invisible organisms. One of the lessons we learned is that health is of great importance and should be treated as such.
The pandemic also taught us that healthcare workers should be treated with great respect and those who choose a career in the health sector should see it as a noble profession.
For this article, we will explore the health sector in Ireland and then see those healthcare in-demand jobs that are in Ireland. But before we start, we will discuss Ireland so you can have a general knowledge of the country.
Location and Language
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, in north-western Europe. It is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. Ireland is divided into two: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland has Dublin as its capital and has Euro as its currency while Northern Ireland has its capital as Belfast with pounds sterling as its currency.
The population of Ireland took a hit from 8 million in 1841 to roughly over 4 million in 1921. This was because of the great famine that they faced and the emigration caused by it. This led to a great influx of people into countries like Canada, USA, and Australia.
However, in recent years, starting from the latter part of the 20th century, Ireland has seen a high rate of immigration as a result of its growing economy. This has brought its population to 5,037,346 on April 24, 2022.
The economy of Ireland has been in an up and down motion ever since the 1845 famine. Its later dependency on agriculture also drove it down economically, hence lowering the quality of living in the country. The poor economy of the country was partly also caused by the emigration of its citizens. However, following stringent rules, laws, and trade, the economy started picking up.
While the economy is picking up, the high cost of living still is a problem. A high cost of living is equivalent to a poor standard of living. On a larger scale, Ireland is doing well than in former years. However, there still exists room for growth.
The Health Sector of Ireland
Ireland operates a dual healthcare system comprising private and public health care. The private healthcare system is operated and managed by non-governmental organizations while the public healthcare system is managed and operated by the Irish government. The body of the government regulating the public healthcare system is the Health Service Executive.
Public Healthcare System
The public healthcare system as earlier stated is handled by the Irish Government HSE. To access this medical care, you must have been resident in Ireland for a year. This is irrespective of whether you are an immigrant or not. This healthcare service type offers free medical care and in some cases, a minimal fee. With its nature, there is usually a long list of patients in waiting.
In 2019, Ireland’s public healthcare system had a challenge of insufficient hospital beds. This was a result of the closing down of hospitals and possibly clinics, thereby mounting pressure on the available facilities. This lack of hospital beds led to a long waiting list for patients and inadvertently, a great strain on the healthcare workers, and showed the need for more.
The outbreak of the pandemic, especially in 2020 also caused more strain on an already strained healthcare delivery system at the public hospitals. This led the Minister for Health in Ireland to announce the increase of the hospital beds to accommodate more patients at the hospitals. These beds were later distributed with the public healthcare system getting a major part and a few went to private care.
All these challenges combined with the long waiting list to receive healthcare have led to the contracting of the private healthcare system for treatment.
Private Healthcare System
The private healthcare system in any country is owned and managed by Non-Governmental organizations or bodies. It could be individually owned or owned by an organization. This kind of healthcare system usually does not give free medical services as they are businesses run by individuals for profit.
While they are privately owned, there are regulations specified by Governing bodies in charge of healthcare that they still have to conform to in order to maintain the healthcare standard in the country.
Being a privately owned business, the private healthcare system offers better medical care to its patients. Hence, it is a choice source of healthcare in a situation of emergency and when one can afford to pay for the services.
Irish Public Health Cover
To be eligible for the Irish public health cover, you have to have been a resident in Ireland for a year or at least plan to live in Ireland for at least a year. However, living a year in Ireland doesn’t automatically make you eligible. You have to show proof that you have actually lived one year in Ireland and be confirmed by the Health Service Executive (HSE). A confirmed resident is called an ‘ordinary resident’.
An ordinary resident has two types of eligibility namely;
- Full eligibility
- Limited eligibility
Ordinary residents who are fully eligible are entitled to medical cards including GP cards. Medical cards give you access to certain free services. These services include:
- General Practitioner Services (GP services)
- Public Hospital Services
- Specific Dental, Optical, and Aural Services
- Prescribed Drugs and Services (some of the services will be charged)
- Maternity and Infant Care Services
- Community Care and Personal Social Services
Ordinary residents who have limited eligibility do not have access to free GP services. They can receive public services but have to pay for the services received. You will also receive some free and subsidized services like free maternity care, prescribed drugs, community care, and personal social services. Enrolling in Drug Payment Scheme also helps to reduce the cost of paying for drugs.
Having explored Ireland and the healthcare system, let’s look at the healthcare jobs that are in demand in Ireland
Healthcare In-Demand Jobs in Ireland
With the Covid-19 outbreak, the demand for healthcare workers has seen an exponential rise. Healthcare workers have become really valuable assets and the sector has employed a lot of healthcare workers. Though the sector has been employing more healthcare workers, there still is a need for more healthcare workers. The healthcare in-demand jobs in Ireland are discussed in this section.
Some of the healthcare in-demand jobs in Ireland are:
- General practitioner
- Registered nurse
- Public Health Nurses
- Physician Assistants
- Specialized Doctors
They are the first point of medical care at health facilities. Patients meet them first for their consultation, diagnosis, and drug prescription. They are usually the ones that refer patients for specialized care. They attend to patients with minor ailments. If you are a general practitioner then getting a job in Ireland will be a good idea.
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system. They are the helping hands of doctors, they care for patients, administer injections and carry out a lot of work at the hospital. A hospital won’t function effectively and smoothly without the help of nurses. If you are a registered nurse, then getting a job in Ireland will be an excellent choice.
Pharmacists are in charge of drugs and their dispensation. With more vaccines being produced and the pandemic, the need for pharmacists cannot be overlooked. Every hospital or clinic needs a pharmacist and so this is a good career, especially in Ireland.
Public Health Nurses
Public Health Nurses are in charge of educating at-risk patients on preventive measures they could take to care for themselves. They also are in charge of giving vaccines and everything related to preventive measures. With the healthcare situation in the country, securing a job as a public health nurse in Ireland will be an excellent option. Primarily, they are in charge of education and prevention of diseases.
A physician assistant assists physicians while they carry out their duties. Moving to Ireland and not being fully licensed, you may have a little hard time securing a job as a physician. The best way to work yourself up easily and secure a job as a physician is to get a job as a physician assistant.
Midwives are in charge of helping pregnant women deliver. Their primary duty is providing prenatal and postnatal care to pregnant women. To achieve this, they receive trainings on the mechanics of pregnancy and what to look out for in the course of nine months. You can make a career as a midwife.
These are doctors that specialize in a particular area. There are cardiologists, neurosurgeons, etc. If you are a specialized doctor in any area of the healthcare sector, starting a career in Ireland will be a good choice.
Conclusion: Healthcare In-Demand Jobs in Ireland
Ireland is an island in Europe, plagued by a lot of economic downtime and loss of lives. It has seen a lot of challenges starting from the 1845 famine and the emigration leading to a sharp decline in the population. Even though Ireland has undergone a lot of pain and suffering and those currently facing the healthcare system, it has come out stronger and better.
Ireland’s government has put in place measures that will make the immigration of professionals into the country easy. With all the measures the country is putting in and all the opportunities that exist in Ireland, it is a choice place for health professionals to start their careers.