Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ceisteanna (225)

Jonathan O'Brien


225. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the projected increase or demand for workers and employees due to demographic changes for the years 2018 to 2028. [20701/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The impact of demographic changes is one of a number of issues that must be taken into account when considering how current and future demand for services is to be measured and assessed.

Global and regional health workforce demand is expected to increase in the coming decades because of population and economic growth, combined with demographic, epidemiological and other factors.  

A 2017 ESRI Report projected an increase in the old-age dependency ratio (i.e. the size of the 65+ to the 15-64 population) from 20 per cent to 29 per cent between 2016 and 2030. The report found that the consequent increased demand for health and social care services projected up to 2030 would lead to demand for expanded staffing and have major implications for capacity planning, workforce planning and training. 

The 60+ years group will see an additional 288,000 people between 2018 and 2028, leading to an increased demand for hospital and primary care services.  The 85 years and over age group is expected to increase by 56% by 2028 and this will have implications for residential care capacity.

A strong national approach to health sector workforce planning is vital to ensuring an effective response to these demographic changes.  At the end of last year, I launched the National Strategic Framework for Health and Social Care Workforce Planning.  The Framework aims to support the recruitment and retention of the right mix of workers across the health and social care system to meet planned and projected service need.

Early actions to implement the Framework are currently taking place. These include the establishment of governance and oversight arrangements and the development of closer engagement between the health and education sectors.