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The End of the Irish Poor Law?Welfare and healthcare reform in revolutionary and independent Ireland$
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Donnacha Seán Lucey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719087578

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719087578.001.0001

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From workhouses to hospitals

From workhouses to hospitals

(p.148) 5 From workhouses to hospitals
The End of the Irish Poor Law?

Donnacha Seán Lucey

Manchester University Press

It examines attempts by the newly independent Irish Free State to reform and de-stigmatise medical relief in former workhouse infirmaries. Such reforms were designed to move away from nineteenth century welfare regimes which were underpinned by principles of deterrence. The reform initiated in independent Ireland – the first attempted break-up of the New Poor Law in Great Britain or Ireland – was partly successful. This chapter also examines patient fee-payment and outlines how fresh terms of entitlement and means-testing were established. Such developments were even more pronounced in voluntary hospitals where the majority of patients made a financial contribution to their treatment. The chapter argues that the ability to pay at times determined the type of provision, either voluntary or rate-aided, available to the sick.

Keywords:   County Hospitals, District Hospitals, Voluntary Hospitals, Fee-Payment, Medical Relief, Stigma

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