KEY trends across the Irish health system have been highlighted in a new report published by the Department of Health (RoI).
The report features areas around population health, demographics, and key health outcomes. It also highlights the challenges that persist in terms of the accessibility of timely and efficient healthcare across the population.
Some of the key trends include:
Increase in life expectancy is due to significant reductions in major causes of death such as circulatory system diseases and cancer
- We are living longer. Over the past decade we have added, on average, 3 months per year to our life expectancy, which is currently standing at 83.6 years for women and 79.9 years for men. (Table 1.6)
- Increase in life expectancy is due to significant reductions in major causes of death such as circulatory system diseases and cancer. This decrease is particularly strong for mortality rates from stroke (-39%), breast cancer (-16%), suicide (-26%) and pneumonia (-39%) (Table 2.4). The overall mortality rate has reduced by 14.9% since 2008.
- Men are more inclined to binge drink than women. Over half of Irish men binge drink on a typical day of drinking, compared to just under 20% of women in 2018. A gender gap is present across all age groups, but the highest rates of binge drinking among the 15-24 age group. (Figure 2.14)
- Ireland is now beginning to catch up with other European countries in terms of population ageing. The population of those aged 65 years and over has increased by 35% since 2009 and has been increasing at a faster rate than that of our EU neighbours. The numbers of people in this age group is expected to almost double in the next 20 years, with the greatest proportional increase in the 85+ age group.
You can read the full report here.