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Locum Express and the Shift Towards Universal Care

In the ever-evolving landscape of Irish healthcare, a significant transformation towards universal care is underway. At Locum Express, we stand at the forefront of this paradigm shift, offering unparalleled placement services for doctors and medical professionals across both the public and private sectors. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of Ireland's healthcare system and the journey towards universal care.


Ireland's Healthcare System


In Ireland's healthcare landscape, a dual-tier structure prevails, with both public and private healthcare sectors operating side by side. Over half of the population, approximately 60%, holds private health coverage, while the remaining 40% relies on free healthcare services provided by General Practitioners (GPs) and secondary hospital care.

The move or shift towards a universal healthcare model began in 2015 with the introduction of the groundbreaking Slaintecare program. This initiative aims to transition Ireland's mixed public-private health system into a universally accessible, cost-free healthcare model over the course of the next 5-10 years. This move represents a pivotal moment in Ireland's healthcare narrative, driven by the government's unwavering commitment to enhancing accessibility and quality of care for all citizens.


Irish General Practitioners (GPs)


A distinctive feature of the Irish healthcare system is the pivotal role played by GPs as private practitioners. General practices function as independent entities or businesses with GPs serving as gatekeepers and overseeing more than 21 million GP consultations each year. The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) plays a pivotal role as the professional body for GPs, offering training and maintaining high quality standards within the sector.

However, the move towards universal care is not without its challenges or hurdles. Issues such as delayed hospital referrals and the urgent need to address the shortage of retiring GPs are significant obstacles. Despite these challenges, Irish general practice remains integral and the backbone to the fabric of the healthcare system, playing a vital role in providing primary care services.




As the Slaintecare program progresses, the Irish healthcare system is on the brink of a major transformation. The nuances of private health coverage, the challenges faced by GPs, and the overall impact on the populace's health and well-being are topics of utmost importance.

The move towards universal care shows real a commitment to a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system. Over the next couple of years, we are poised to witness a transformative journey. Ireland is set to become a guiding light for universal healthcare, ensuring that top-notch medical services are accessible to all citizens, regardless of financial status.


Locum Express: Your Trusted Partner in Healthcare Placement


  • With a proven track record of success, Locum Express has been instrumental in placing doctors in locum roles across Ireland's public and private sectors.
  • Our comprehensive understanding of the healthcare industry enables us to provide tailored placement solutions that meet the unique needs of both healthcare professionals and institutions.
  • Whether you're a seasoned practitioner or a recent graduate, Locum Express is your gateway to fulfilling locum doctor roles in Ireland's dynamic healthcare environment.


For more information on working as a locum doctor or GP in Ireland contact a member of our Locum Express team on +353 (0)21 4297901 or email us at You can also register online here.