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Health Module

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Ad-hoc modules are carried out as part of SILC each year to complement the variables permanently collected in the survey.  The topic for the 2017 ad-hoc module was 'Health and Children's Health' and although the plan is to publish more detailed analysis of the module next year, some high-level results from it are being published with today's core SILC results.

Summary of Main Findings

  • 32.5% of households with children where at least one person in the household had a dental examination and/or treatment in the last 12 months reported that the associated costs were a financial burden.
  • 75.6% of those aged 16 years and over visited their General Practitioner (GP) at least once in the last 12 months.
  • 38.1% of workers described their physical status at work as “mostly sitting”.
Healthcare Coverage TypeWith Private Health Insurance CoverWith Medical / GP Card Coverage
200448.4830.53
200547.6732
200647.2132.21
200746.5633.85
200847.6835.31
200944.939.72
201044.2141.37
201142.5944.3
201241.1945.37
201339.6945.25
201440.0343.63
201541.743.98
201642.8745.09
201743.2745.05

Private Health Insurance coverage decreased from 48.5% in 2004 to 39.7% in 2013 and increased again to 43.3% in 2017. This contrasts with medical/GP visit card coverage over the same period which increased from 30.5% in 2004 to 45.4% in 2012 and which stood at 45.1% in 2017.

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Type of Financial BurdenStateHouseholds Without ChildrenHouseholds With Children
Medical32.2930.4635.29
Dental27.4123.8332.54
Cost of Medicines34.8835.5533.77

In 2017, 32.3% of households where at least one person had a medical examination or treatment in the last 12 months reported that the associated costs were a financial burden.  The corresponding rates of households reporting that the associated costs were a financial burden were 27.4% for dental examinations or treatments in the last 12 months and 34.9% for medicines in the last 12 months. For households without children, the rates were 30.5% for medical examinations or treatment, 23.8% for dental examinations or treatment and 35.6% for medicines. This contrasts with households with children where the corresponding rates were 35.3% for medical examinations or treatment, 32.5% for dental examinations or treatment and 33.8% for medicines.

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Poverty status At Risk of PovertyIn Consistent Poverty
Medical / GP visit card coverage75.1488.82

In 2017, 75.1% of those at risk of poverty and 88.8% of those in consistent poverty had a medical/GP visit card.

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Self Defined Health Status 16+StateWith Medical/GP CardWithout Medical/GP Card
Very Good or Good83.0368.9292.93
Fair13.5623.976.25
Bad or Very Bad3.417.110.82

In 2017, 83.0% of all those aged 16 years and over defined their own health status as either “Good” or “Very Good”. The corresponding rates for those with a medical/GP visit card and those without a medical/GP visit card were 68.9% and 92.9% respectively.   In 2017, 3.4% of all those aged 16 years and over defined their own health status as either “Bad” or “Very Bad”.  The corresponding rates were 7.1% for those with a medical/GP visit card and 0.8% for those without a medical/GP visit card.

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Number of Visits to a GP 16+StateWith Medical/GP CardWithout Medical / GP Card
None24.351431.66
1-2 Times36.1627.5542.24
3-5 times23.629.0719.73
6-9 Times7.9213.913.7
10 Times or More7.9615.462.67

In 2017, 24.4% of all those aged 16 years and over had no visits to a GP in the last 12 months. The corresponding rates for those with a medical/GP visit card and those without a Medical/GP visit card were 14.0% and 31.7% respectively. In 2017, 8.0% of all those aged 16 years and over have attended a GP ten times or more in the last 12 months compared with 15.5% of those who have a medical/GP visit card and 2.7% of those without a medical/GP visit card.

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Number of Medical/Surgical Consultations 16 +StateWith Medical/GP CardWithout Medical / GP Card
None68.2762.5872.27
1-2 Times21.6824.1519.93
3 Times or more10.0513.267.79

In 2017, 68.3% of those aged 16 years and over required no medical and/or surgical consultation in the past 12 months. Of those aged 16 years and over with a medical/GP visit card, 13.3% had three or more medical/surgical consultations in the past 12 months.   This contrasts with 7.8% of those without a medical/GP visit card.

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Consumption of Fruit, Vegetables or SaladAt Least DailyAt Least WeeklyLess than Weekly
State87.7510.261.98
At Risk Of Poverty 80.7215.343.93
Not At Risk Of Poverty89.049.34

In 2017, 80.7% of individuals aged 16 years and over who were at risk of poverty reported consuming at least one item of fruit, vegetables or salad daily compared with 89.0% of those who were not at risk of poverty. While 2.0% of all individuals aged 16 years and over consume one item of fruit, vegetables or salad less than weekly, the corresponding rates were 3.9% for those who are at risk of poverty and 1.6% for those who were not at risk of poverty.

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Activity At Work%
Mostly
Sitting
38.1
Mostly
Standing
19.9
Mostly
Walking
or
Moderate
Physical
Effort
31.6
Mostly Heavy
Labour or
Physically Demanding Work
10.4

In 2017, approximately two in five (38.1%) of those aged 16 years or older who are working reported that they spend most of their time at work sitting. This compared with less than one in three (31.6%) who reported that they were mostly walking, or engaged in tasks requiring moderate physical effort while 19.9% reported that most of their time at work is spent standing. Lastly, just over one in ten (10.4%) reported that their time at work is spent doing mostly heavy labour or physically demanding work. 

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*1.7% of responses to this question were missing.

Hours of Exercise a WeekMostly Sitting
0 hours
a week
11.96
>0-3
hours
a week
29.46
>3-6
hours
a week
30.31
>6-9
hours
a week
12.84
>9-12
hours
a week
8.92
>12
hours
a week
4.9

In 2017, 12.0% of those who spend their time at work “mostly sitting” reported doing no exercise outside of work in a week, while approximately one in three reported that they do either up to 3 hours of exercise (29.5%) or more than 3 and up to 6 hours of exercise (30.3%) outside of work per week. Just over one in eight (12.8%) of those who spend their time at work "mostly sitting" reported doing more than 6 and up to 9 hours of exercise in a week, while a further 8.9% reported doing more than 9 and up to 12 hours of exercise per week. Only 4.9% of those who spend their time at work “mostly sitting” reported doing more than 12 hours of exercise per week outside of work.

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