63,000 people attend out-patient clinics per week – Burke

-   Senator Colm Burke

Fine Gael Cork Senator, Colm Burke, has welcomed the publication of the HSE’s Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2015, which shows that 63,000 people per week attend out-patient clinics. The report outlines how the HSE has responded to the many challenges it faces, in providing a quality health service for all, as well as providing for population growth and increased life expectancy.

“I warmly welcome the publication of this HSE report and its findings. Our health system is far from perfect, but we are making progress all the time.

“In 2015, almost 3.3 million people attended hospital out-patient clinics, which works out at approximately 63,000 people per week, or over 12,500 people per day, based on a five day week. The number receiving day care treatment has increased to 878,821 people (excluding dialysis), which is 16,900 per week. The number of inpatients for the year was 644,990. Our acute hospital services are continually providing the best care possible.

“This report also addressed the present demographic trends in Ireland that are proving challenging to our health system. There has been a 9% increase in the number of people living in Ireland since 2006, and 1.3% increase since 2011. Life expectancy has increased by two and a half years since 2004 and is consistently higher than the EU average. In connection with this, the overall mortality rate of the country has been reduced by 19% since 2005. The very elderly population (those aged 85 and over) is growing by about 4.5% per annum.  The number of people over 65 years is projected to almost double to around 1 million by 2031. These are serious issues which we urgently need to address so we can put in place a plan for the next fifteen years.

“This report shows steady progress towards reaching targets, and ultimately achieving an efficient, fair health care system. We have a long way to go, but we are moving in the right direction, and with careful and diligent long-term planning we can meet these challenges. However to achieve this goal, we must provide the necessary support to the dedicated and committed doctors, nurses, and support staff who work in our health services. This will ensure the best possible outcomes for patients.”  

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