Ireland performs better in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality than Northern Ireland

Ireland performs better in terms of life expectancy and infant mortality than Northern Ireland, a new report has found.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 12:00 am
The research found that for both socio-economic and health status, the available evidence suggests that one system does not consistently do better than the other
The research found that for both socio-economic and health status, the available evidence suggests that one system does not consistently do better than the other

The research, carried out by the ESRI and the Shared Island Unit in the Taoiseach’s department, also found there are higher levels of unmet healthcare needs due to affordability issues in Ireland relative to Northern Ireland.

The primary care systems of both jurisdictions were examined and analysis also sought to identify what comparable data are currently available on the two healthcare systems.

The major difference between the two systems is the absence of a universal healthcare system in Ireland.

In Northern Ireland, all residents are entitled to a wide range of health and social care services that are almost entirely free at the point of use, while in Ireland, a majority of the population pay for a range of healthcare services.These include seeing a GP and other primary care services.

However the report found that despite the differences, both systems are grappling with similar challenges including increasing demand for healthcare services, increasing expenditure and workforce shortages.

The research found that for both socio-economic and health status, the available evidence suggests that one system does not consistently do better than the other.

However, in terms of some population health measures, including life expectancy and infant mortality, Ireland has performed better than Northern Ireland in recent years.

Lead author of the report Dr Sheelah Connolly said: “Similarities and differences between the healthcare systems of Ireland and Northern Ireland provide an opportunity to examine how different systems and policies influence outcomes.

“The analysis carried out for this Shared Island research suggests that there have been improvements in population health indicators in Ireland in recent years, which have not been experienced to the same extent in Northern Ireland.

“Further research should be undertaken to understand the reasons for these differences as this may provide evidence on how to improve population health.”

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