News & Media

Stronger regulation needed around private healthcare advertising

21 November 2019

Statement by Alan Kelly TD
Spokesperson on Health

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has called for stronger advertising regulation of private health providers.

Deputy Kelly said:

“As winter sets in we are beginning to be bombarded with advertisements for private hospitals. Ads on the radio constantly push private hospitals and clinics, claiming “because YOU deserve better”. Who exactly deserves better? Do people with money for private healthcare deserve better than low paid workers or single parents or immigrants?

“These ads personally turn my stomach every time I hear them and are incredibly frustrating.

“When private hospitals are full, they send their overflow to the public emergency departments. How can they claim to be better on “access” when their Emergency departments run on office hours and use the public hospitals as a pressure valve to avoid dealing with their own overcrowding?

“These types of ads make a mockery of the health system in Ireland and are providing patients with false expectations.

“Advertising by private hospitals needs to be highly regulated if not banned, in the same way that we outlawed the advertisement of prescription medicines directly to patients. It is not enough to just refer ads of this nature that we have issue with to the ASAI, who only offer a voluntary code of practice.”