Children's unscheduled primary and emergency care in Ireland: decision making, trends, outcomes and parental perspectives (CUPID)

The Irish healthcare system is partly publicly funded by government spending and partly privately funded by out-of-pocket payments and private health insurance. Universal healthcare coverage is a situation where all people who need health services receive them, without undue financial hardship, based on need, not income. In 2011 the government announced that universal healthcare coverage will be introduced to Ireland. In July 2015 GP visit cards that allow free GP visits were made available to all people under 6 years old and over 70 years old.

This project aims to describe the patterns of children's visits to their GP and Emergency Departments and the factors that lead to these patterns. It will also describe the healthcare outcomes when children attend the Emergency Department. It will investigate if free GP visits have affected these patterns and what geographic areas or communities are worst affected. The project will also explore GPs' decision making when they refer children to the Emergency Department and what factors and pressures affect this important decision. By talking to parents individually and in groups their viewpoints, preferences and stories will be collected and shared. The discussions with parents and GPs will help to explain the patterns that will be identified. The lessons learned from this research will be shared with policy makers to help them make decisions that improve healthcare for children in Ireland.


Award Date
06 April 2017
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Eilish McAuliffe
Host Institution
University College Dublin
National Children's Hospital Foundation Scheme