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Healthcare Outlook 2016

Recent Deloitte research shows that Ireland is facing many of the same challenges as other developed healthcare systems.


Healthcare spending in Ireland appears slightly less than other European jurisdictions but slightly greater than the UK spend. Staff shortages and medical advances are some of the common challenges faced by healthcare systems around the world.

2016 Healthcare Outlook for Ireland

The need to improve and reform the health sector seems like a constant theme in Ireland. Commentators regularly point to the challenges and difficulties faced by the sector and regularly highlight its shortcomings. But is the Irish sector different to the rest of the world and do we face unique challenges? Deloitte’s 2016 Global health care outlook, suggests we are not very different from other developed economics. The report highlights that almost every developed economy is struggling to contain costs while improving patient care.

The Deloitte research, which has recently been published, shows that Ireland spends $4,233 per capita on health services. This is compared to $3,598 in the UK, $6,145 in the Netherlands, $5,006 in Germany and a staggering $9,146 in the USA.

Key Healthcare Challenges

Our research also highlights five key challenges facing healthcare systems around the world and these are equally applicable to Ireland. These challenges include:

  • Demographics – it is expected that nearly 21% of the population of Western Europe will be over 65 by 2019. This bring challenges associated with the treatment of chronic diseases, the high cost of new high tech medical treatments and the costs associated with treating multiple conditions.
  • Financial – the on-going economic challenge has placed a strain on Government’s ability to fund expanding healthcare costs. Many countries are looking to reform their healthcare delivery models in order to manage costs and drive efficiencies. Ireland, like many other countries is looking at options for drug price control, service reconfiguration and shared services.
  • Operational – similar to many countries, Ireland is facing a shortage of nurses, doctors and other clinicians. Our research has identified a need to restructure and refocus operational models in order to attract and retain a limited talent pool and deliver the health services expected.
  • Innovation – innovation has been a core aspect of advancing medical care for decades. Healthcare systems around the world are beginning to better understand where technology can be used to support healthcare delivery. Making the best use of Telehealth, Electronic Patient Records and Wearable devices is a common challenge according to our research and Ireland is no different.
  • Regulatory compliance – there is an ever increasing focus on patient and drug safety. European legalisation is driving new data standards for the identification of medicinal products as well as steps to combat the emergence of falsified medicines in the EU. In addition, the move towards electronic patient records and other digital solutions brings an increased complexity in complying with cybersecurity and data protection rules.

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