Fine Gael Seanad Health Spokesperson, Senator Colm Burke today (Tuesday) warmly welcomed the publication of the ‘Health in Ireland Key Trends 2011’ report by the Department of Health saying the report’s findings will help to formulate innovative and cutting edge health policy in the future.
“It is encouraging to see the publication of this health trends report before Christmas. The Department of Health is faced with numerous challenges and the Government is endeavouring to provide the best possible care for all citizens with the resources that are available. This report will feed into those plans.
“As the Minister for Health, Mr James Reilly TD, pointed out, this report provides an overview of our health status and the health services during the past ten years and shows real improvements.
“Since the 2006 Census, Ireland’s population has grown by 8.1%. Some of the key trends identified in the report include;
• Total hospital discharges continuing to rise but an increasing portion (60% in 2010) of this activity is now carried out on a day case basis. Improved and less invasive medical practice is largely responsible for the rapid growth in day patient activity. • The numbers of people over the age of 65 is projected to more than double to over 1 million by 2040.
• 84% of men and 83% of women in Ireland rate their health as being good or very good. This compares with 71% and 65% for males and females respectively across the EU.
“The report also highlights that both alcohol and cigarette consumption have declined over the past decade. Hopefully this trend will continue. In terms of staffing in our health service, nurses make up the largest grade category in the public health service. The number of consultants employed by the public health service increased by almost 45% in the period 2002 – 2011 and the number of Junior Doctors has increased by almost 16% during that period.
“As the Fine Gael Seanad Spokesperson for Health, I believe that this report will be instrumental in developing innovative and cutting edge health policies for the care of our all people in society in 2012 and beyond.”