Planning for Health 2017

‘Planning for Health - Trends and Priorities to inform Health Service Planning 2017’ paper provides a population focused analysis of current and future needs and demands on our Health Service. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the imminent demographic pressures which our Health Service will encounter this year and over the next five years up to 2022. Translation of health data, evidence and intelligence into a utility of knowledge is essential to enrich the planning process and ensure the direction of travel at this time of reform in our health system is population focused. 

All current and relevant population and health service datasets are examined, interrogated and translated. This is achieved by applying a standardised approach using consistent methodologies and population projections across all areas of service at a national level.

Summary of the ‘Planning for Health’ Key Messages


- Between 2016 and 2017:

  • population aged 65 years and over is projected to increase by 19,800 people
  • population aged 85 years and over is projected to increase by 2,600 people

- A 1.4% upward adjustment required in public health budget to meet ‘pure demographic effect’ to deliver same level and quality of service from 2016 to 2017

Acute Hospitals

- It is projected that there will be a cost pressure of 1.7% on total in-patient and day cases from 2016 to 2017

Primary Care

- Demographic change alone will require an increase of €75.2 million between 2015 and 2017 for 10 PCRS payment headings

Social Care

  • Old age dependency will increase from 18.1 in 2012 to 24.3 in 2017
  • Residential bed capacity is not meeting projected demand. In 2017 it is projected that there will be a deficit of 1,460 long stay care beds and 2,650 short stay beds
  • There will need to be an additional 300,000 home help hours in 2017 based on the 2015 utilisation rate

Mental Health

  • Number of suicides has decreased from 554 in 2011 to 459 in 2014
  • 8,700 people presented to hospital services with deliberate self-harm in 2014. This represents a 1.5% reduction from 2013

National Ambulance Service

  • There has been an 8% increase in calls from 2013 to 2014 and a 9% increase from 2014-2015
  • Using 2015 utilisation rate, there is expected to be an additional 5,000 calls in 2017