Minister for Health highlights increase in health workforce 


Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly has highlighted increases in the healthcare workforce and in healthcare activity as he published the latest data tables on non-monetary healthcare statistics.

The data shows:

  • The number of practising nurses in Ireland for 2023 was 72,543, an increase of 7% from 2022. 
  • The number of practicing dentists in Ireland for 2023 stood at 2,466, an increase of 5.8% from 2022.
  • The number of practising caring personnel in 2023 was 27,995, an increase of 2.9% on 2022.
  • Cataract surgery was the most common surgical procedure in Ireland in 2022, with a total of 39,347 procedures, compared with 33,348 procedures in 2021.
  • There were 12,830 hip replacement procedures in 2022, compared with 11,159 procedures in 2021.

The recently published data has also revealed that Ireland continues to attract healthcare workers from around the world, with India, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines the top three countries providing foreign trained nurses in 2023. More than half of all practising nurses here obtained their first nursing qualification outside of Ireland.

Minister Donnelly said, “Over the lifetime of this Government, the HSE has hired well over 26,000 extra staff, a 22% increase. In tandem with these, we are examining how we structure our healthcare services to ensure that resources are used effectively, and the productivity of the health service is maximised. 

“Compiling these national healthcare statistics is an important element in these efforts as we improve and expand access to the right care in the right place at the right time, in order to strengthen the quality of care and ensure best outcomes for patients.”

This is the second year the Department of Health has complied and published the annual National Healthcare Statistics data as part of the Non-Monetary Health Care Statistics questionnaire, administered jointly by Eurostat, the OECD and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This data allows researchers and the public timely access to national information and provides a better understanding of Ireland’s data on a range of health topics and how it compares with other countries. 

The information is hosted on, providing a centralised place for the public to access data and its metadata. It is also available on in line with the Government’s commitment to the European Union Open Data Directive.


The publication of open data tables satisfies European Peer review recommendations that Ireland should make national data available in advance of its publication via Eurostat and OECD. The report is available here.