Ireland’s population boom set to put a strain on health services

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Ireland’s population is set to rise by nearly a quarter by 2030 according to a new report by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

According to findings in Projections of Demand for Healthcare in Ireland, 2015-2030, Ireland’s population of people aged 80 and over is set to rise by almost 94 percent. This, alongside an increase in the general population, will have a significant impact on Ireland’s health service.

The report states that demand across all health and social care sectors will “increase significantly” for all years up to 2030. This report used population information from the census of 2016, alongside statistics from the past twelve months regarding the use of a range of healthcare services, including public and private hospital inpatient care, emergency department use, and GP services.

In a breakdown of the impact on health services, the report states that the demand for home help and residential care will skyrocket by up to 54 percent, with the demand on inpatient beds in public hospitals set to rise by 37 percent. Also, the demand for local GP visits will also increase by up to 27 percent.

The report also remarks that Ireland’s population over the past twenty years has increased by 31 percent. This boom in population was significantly higher than the EU average, which was only 6 percent.

Minister for Health Simon Harris has responded to the publication of the report, stating that he has “long been of the view that we need to increase capacity in our health services, but that this must be done in an evidence-based manner.”

The Minister added that he welcomes “the publication of this report and the development of the underlying projection model upon which the analysis and findings are based”.

By Sean Meehan

 

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