Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly has launched an innovative new online visual health data monitoring tool, created to provide an overview of the performance and health outcomes of the health service.
Operated by the Department of Health in partnership with the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Prototype Visualisation Platform for the Health System Performance Assessment (HSPA) Framework will help policymakers, healthcare providers, researchers and patients to better assess and improve system accountability, fairness, and efficiency as we progress towards universal healthcare for all.
The new HSPA website has been populated with health data in the areas of life expectancy, disease outcomes, health risk factors such as smoking and obesity, the level of access to health services, affordability, the quality of the care provided, as well as the efficiency of health services.
The HSPA will enable the public to become better informed about the nation’s health as well as important issues that are central to the provision of health services in Ireland, giving them a clearer picture of how the health service is performing and a better understanding of the impact of health policies on people’s lives.
HSPA data indicates that life expectancy at birth in Ireland is consistently above the EU average, at 84.3 years for women and 80.5 years for men in 2021, with increases of 1.2 years and 1.8 years respectively in the last decade, compared with a decrease of 0.2 years and an increase of 0.1 years respectively for EU-27 member countries in the same period.
Figures for 2022 show the leading causes of death in Ireland include respiratory diseases, circulatory diseases and cancer, with overall mortality rates continuing to decline steadily. Ongoing investment, through the National Cancer Strategy, Sharing the Vision, Healthy Ireland initiatives and wider health service reforms and improvements, is intended to support increases in life expectancy, and to reduce mortality rates from chronic disease.
Internationally, HSPA is becoming an essential assessment platform for many countries. The European Union (EU) is currently assisting other EU member states in developing and adopting their own HSPA structures. In tandem, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is encouraging the setting up and adoption of country-specific HSPAs worldwide.
Welcoming the launch, the Minister said, “I’m very pleased to support the launch of the HSPA, delivering greater transparency on patient health outcomes and services in Ireland than ever before. This Government has provided unprecedented levels of investment in the Irish Health Service, and the new HSPA website is a hive of health data and statistics which demonstrate an ever-improving picture in the health of the nation, including on cancer survival rates and healthy lifestyle choices, with life expectancy in Ireland amongst the highest in the EU.
“I’m tremendously encouraged by the progress we’re making on population health outcomes as demonstrated in the HSPA, but there’s more we can and must do.
“The HSPA is another vital tool that allows us to visualise the impacts of ongoing health policy and Slaintecare reforms in real time, and most importantly identify areas that require additional effort and attention based on clear evidence. It also helps us to compare and measure our health outcomes and performance with EU colleagues and against international standards.”