Tallaght Demographic Analysis Predicts Future Pressure on Health Services
The development of an effective healthcare strategy for Ireland (a need recently highlighted by Minister for Health, Simon Harris), will require an acute understanding of both the influences of demographic change on healthcare requirements, and also of how demographic change is set to impact service utilisation and overall costs.
As part of our ongoing research into the current and future needs of communities across Ireland, FAC has identified several locations where near-term demographic projections indicate dramatic changes in population age structure are likely to occur. The composition of healthcare provision in these areas will undoubtedly require review in order to adequately cater to the resulting changes in healthcare requirements; such as increased home-care provision for the elderly due to an ageing localised population.
One of the more prominent locations where this pattern of rapid change is set to take shape is in the Tallaght area of south-west Dublin, where the cohort of people aged 65 years and over is projected to increase by 150% from 2011 levels by as early as 2025.
Population ageing is largely a positive outcome, primarily reflecting improved life expectancy and quality-of-life. However, unplanned growth of any cohort will affect our social infrastructure; the labour supply, our economic output, our health services and the overall economy.
The insights gained from localised demographic analyses can serve as the cornerstone of a better evidence-led healthcare strategy, leading to better outcomes and increased resilience against future pressures.