Significant improvements in health outcomes in Ireland over decade

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There have been significant improvements in health outcomes in Ireland between 2013 and 2022,according to the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System 2023 Report, published in March.

The publication provides an overview of quality in our health service over a period of ten years and against international standards.

Highlights include:

  • Outcomes for people admitted to hospital due to a heart attack or with a stroke diagnosis have improved significantly between 2013 and 2022. There has been a 23% decrease in in-hospital deaths within 30 days of admission for heart attacks and a 38% decrease in in-hospital deaths within 30 days of admission from ischaemic stroke over this period.
  • Uptake of cervical cancer screening, has climbed from 65% in 2011 to 73%, but still remains below the 80% target.
  • Ireland ranked 2nd highest among 36 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for flu vaccination uptake for older people in the 2021/2022 flu season.
  • In 2022, 89% of hip fracture surgeries for people aged 65 years and older were performed within two days of admission which is 9% higher than in 2013. 
  • 82% of patients who spent at least one night in hospital in May 2022 indicated they had a positive overall experience.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said. “This year’s report reflects on the quality of care provided across different population perspectives over a 10-year period. 

“The data shows the significant progress on various health outcomes including lower in-hospital mortality rates for stroke and heart attack, more timely hip fracture surgery for older people and decreases in hospitalisations for chronic conditions.

“Looking to how we fare internationally, Ireland compares favourably across a number of areas, in particular uptake for flu vaccination among people aged 65 years and older and uptake for breast and cervical cancer screening.”  

“I particularly welcome the inclusion of an expanded suite of reported patient experience measures in this year’s report, providing insights into people’s experience of care in hospitals, nursing homes and maternity bereavement services. By listening to the voices of people using our health and social care services we can identify areas for improvement focused on what matters to them.” 

This is the eighth and final report in the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System series. Ireland’s Health System Performance Assessment platform, which was released in 2023, provides an overall view on the performance across Ireland’s health service to act as a stimulus for quality improvement.

The National Healthcare Quality Reporting System 2023 report (the eighth and final report in the series) is available here https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/5fd4f6-national-healthcare-quality-reporting-system-reports/ . 

Further information on the Health System Performance Assessment Framework for Ireland and the online platform is available here https://www.hspa.gov.ie/