Detailed Demographic Analysis Key to Healthcare Strategy
In last Friday’s Irish Times, Minister for Health, Simon Harris highlighted the need for “detailed demographic analysis” to enable the mapping out of an effective strategy for healthcare in Ireland. The population is growing, and there are more people in the over-65 age group than ever before, who are more likely to rely on the health services. Informed analysis of the current data would provide clarity on the current situation and also allow the department to plan, based on predicted future trends.
FAC was commissioned in 2011 to undertake a review of the London Healthy Urban Development Unit (HUDU) Planning Contributions Tool, which was developed by the NHS to provide a linked between the community health services and local authorities.
The HUDU tool examined information about population growth, household gain, floor space, and cost implications to work out the impact that a housing development would have on the community and therefore on the NHS services in that area.
Demographic predictions in Ireland and their implications for the health service could be examined in a similar manner, to envisage areas of pressure and develop strategies to manage them, saving time and money for the department.