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Health Care

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SDG 3.7.1 Proportion of Women of Reproductive Age (Aged 15-49 Years) Who Have Their Need for Family Planning Satisfied with Modern Methods.  These data are classified as Tier 2 in the Tier Classification for Global SDG Indicators (See Background Notes), as they are not regularly produced by countries.

The National Sexual Health Strategy 2015-2020 is Ireland’s first national framework for sexual health and wellbeing, published by the Department of Health in 2015.

The strategic vision of this Strategy is that everyone in Ireland experiences positive sexual health and wellbeing.  To achieve this vision, this Strategy aims to improve sexual health and wellbeing and reduce negative sexual health outcomes by ensuring that everyone living in Ireland has access to high quality sexual health information, education and services throughout their lives.  This vision will be addressed through three goals.

Goal 1 – Sexual health promotion, education and prevention: Everyone living in Ireland will receive comprehensive and age-appropriate sexual health education and/or information and will have access to appropriate prevention and promotion services.

Goal 2 – Sexual health services: Equitable, accessible and high quality sexual health services that are targeted and tailored to need will be available to everyone.

Goal 3 – Sexual health intelligence: Robust and high quality sexual health information will be generated to underpin policy, practice, service planning and strategic monitoring. 

The Government's National Strategic Plan 2012– 2016 on Crisis Pregnancy has five key strategic objectives.  Objective No.2 is to 'Ensure high levels of awareness of contraception and contraceptive services so as to increase consistent and correct use of contraception for at-risk groups'.

This Strategic Objective has 3 Target Outcomes:

  • Improved uptake and use of contraceptive services across all identified ‘at-risk’ groups. 
  • Increased involvement by a range of healthcare professionals in relation to the provision of contraception advice and access to contraceptive services. 
  • Increased level of cohesiveness between healthcare professionals in terms of crossreferrals and information sharing.
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SDG 3.7.2 Adolescent Birth Rate (Aged 10-14 Years; Aged 15-19 Years) per 1,000 Women in That Age Group was published by CSO, Vital Statistics Yearly Summary 2018.

The number of births to women aged under 20 years fell by more than half between 2010 and 2018, falling  from 2,043 to 980.  Seven in 100 births were to young mothers aged under 20 years in 2018.  About 30% of births to young mothers were in Dublin in 2018, followed by 13% in the Mid-East region.  The West region had the lowest proportion of births to women aged under 20 years at 7%.  See Table 4.1 and Map 4.1.

Show Table: 4.1 - SDG 3.7.2 Live Births by Mother Under 20 Years by Region

The number of births to women aged under 20 years fell by more than half between 2010 and 2018, falling  from 2,043 to 980.  More than half (53%) of the women aged under 20 years who gave birth in 2018 were aged 19.  Births outside marriage accounted for 86% of all births to girls aged under 20 years in 2018.  There were 22 births to girls aged 15 and under in 2018.  Two of the 57 births to girls aged 16 were within marriage in 2018.  See Table 4.2.

Show Table: 4.2 - SDG 3.7.2 Births by Age of Mother and Marital Status

There were 61,016 births in 2018 and 980 of these were to women aged under 20.  This was the second child for 119 of the women aged under 20 who gave birth and was the third child for 11 women.  For two of the women aged under 20 this was their fourth child.  See Table 4.3.

Show Table: 4.3 - SDG 3.7.2 Births Registered, Classified by Age of Mother and Previous Number of Liveborn Children

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SDG 3.8.1 Coverage of Essential Health Services was published by the Department of Health.

The number of medical cards rose from 1,478,560 in 2009 to 1,574,507 in 2018, an increase of 6.5%.  In 2018, nearly one third (32.4%) of the population had a medical card.  

The number of GP visit cards in 2018 at 503,650 was more than four times higher than the number in 2009 of 98,325.  One in ten people had a GP visit card in 2018.  

The number of people on the drugs payment scheme dropped from 1,587,448 in 2009 to 1,290,634 in 2018, a drop of 24%.  

By 2018 just over a quarter (26.6%) of the population were in the drugs payment scheme.

There was an increase of 20% in the number of people on the long-term illness scheme between 2009 and 2018, with the numbers rising from 127,636 to 281,075.  About 6% of the populaiton were in the long-term illness scheme in 2018.  See Table 4.4 and Figure 4.1.

Show Table: 4.4 - SDG 3.8.1 Primary Care Reimbursement Service Schemes

In 2019, 31.8% of the population had a medical card, compared with 32.6% in 2009.  The age groups with the highest medical card coverage were those aged 70 years and over at 74.6% followed by those aged 65-69 years at 43.2%.  The age groups with the lowest medical card coverage were those aged 25-34 years at 19.3% and 35-44 years at 22.1%.  See Table 4.5 and Figure 4.2.

Show Table: 4.5 - SDG 3.8.1 Medical Card Holders by Age Group

X-axis label20092019
0 - 4 Years31.115333788746124.6760651309754
5 - 11 Years35.999247315075332.6343906376435
12 - 15 Years33.570892391928335.5401981110343
16 - 24 Years22.598404080372824.4021263368899
25 - 34 Years20.791749619053419.3247194190323
35 - 44 Years23.952331569266622.1273624249164
45 - 54 Years23.765446482665227.9025684047693
55 - 64 Years31.73975694953432.1360224035139
65 - 69 Years48.468055493484743.2356468638707
70 Years and Over92.392.3

About a third (3.0%) of the population had a medical card in 2017.  This proportion varied by region.  The highest proportion with a medical card was in the Border region at 41.3% while the lowest was in Dublin at 26.6%.  See Table 4.6 and Map 4.2.

Show Table: 4.6 - SDG 3.8.1 Medical Card Holders by Region

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SDG 3.8.2 Proportion of Population with Large Household Expenditures on Health was published by CSO, Household Budget Survey (HBS).  These data are classified as Tier 2 in the Tier Classification for Global SDG Indicators (See Background Notes), as they are not regularly produced by countries.

The HBS takes place every five years, the last one being 2015. It was due to commence again in 2020 but was suspended at an early stage due to the impact of COVID-19.  The survey will be re-scheduled.

Average weekly household expenditure was €837.47 in 2015.  The lowest average weekly household expenditure was €689.14 in the Border while the highest was €984.28 in the Mid-East.  

Medical expenses were 2.2% of average weekly household expenditure in Ireland in 2015, and this proportion varied from 1.9% in the Border to 2.7% in the West.  See Table 4.7 and Map 4.3.

Show Table: 4.7 - SDG 3.8.2 Proportion of Population with Large Household Expenditures on Health as a Share of Total Household Expenditure or Income

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