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Waiting Lists

Healthcare report shows increase in ED attendances and outpatient appointments

Close to 200,000 people had been on outpatient waiting lists for over a year.

THE HEALTH IN Ireland – Key Trends report, released today, has shown a significant increase in attendances to hospital Emergency Departments in last year, an increase of 13% year from 2020.

A total of 1.5 million attendances to Emergency Departments took place, while there were 3.2 million attendances to outpatient appointments in 2021 – an increase of 8% year on year.

The Health in Ireland – Key Trends 2022 report looks at demographics, population health, hospital and primary care, health sector employment and expenditure.

83% of those admitted to a public hospital rated their experience good or very good while 82% of people in Ireland rated their health as good or very good -the highest level in the EU and significantly above the EU average of 67%.

The report also noted that the mortality rate from all causes of death decreased by almost 16%, while cancer mortality rates reduced by 15%.

However, the number of patients on waiting lists for longer than 52 weeks for outpatient appointments was just below 200,000 in August, the most recent month recorded.

This publication, now in its 14th edition, is now the second in a series that will chart post-pandemic impacts on the health service.

Welcoming the report, the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said: “Health in Ireland – Key Trends gives us the opportunity to assess the performance of the Irish health system and reflect on the health status of our people over time.”

“It shows the importance of good quality data to health professionals and policy makers alike in providing a high-quality health service for our population as we implement Sláintecare.”

The Minister added:

“The largest proportional increases in the population in Ireland are projected to be in the category of those aged 85 years and older.”

“The number of people aged 65 and over will grow from one-fifth to over one-third of the working population over the next two decades which will have implications on how we fund our health services. This is a good thing – people are living longer, but we need to ensure they live well. 

“We are investing record levels in health care, building capacity, expanding the workforce and driving positive change with our policies. For example, our cancer strategy is clearly making a positive difference, with mortality rates down almost 16%.

“We know that Slaintecare will further enhance the health of the population by reforming the way in which we deliver timely, quality healthcare. And we’re making it accessible and affordable, with €4 out of every €5 in 2020 spent on health being funded not by the patient but by the Government.

“There is still much to achieve, but the progress outlined in Key Trends shows how we’re making very tangible improvements in health outcomes and delivering a better health service for all.”

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