Question to the Minister of State at the Department of Health (Ms. Kathleen Lynch, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health if his Department or the Health Service Executive has conducted an analysis of the demographics of our population and determined the number of beds that will be required for residential nursing home care over the next three to five years; if he will provide details of this analysis; the plans being put in place to meet any projected need; if there are particular areas/regions of concern where there may be an under supply of such beds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer T.D.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 8th October, 2013.
I am acutely aware of demographic projections which show a very steady increase in the numbers of older people in Ireland in the coming years and decades. The most recent population projections, carried out by the Central Statistics Office, estimate that by 2041 there will be about 1.4m people over the age of 65 in Ireland, with the greatest increases in the over 80 age group. My Department is working very closely with the HSE to prepare for this change, so that we can provide for our older people in the best possible way. This is happening most directly now as part of the current review of the Nursing Home Support Scheme.
The Nursing Homes Support Scheme was introduced in October 2009, with a commitment to review its operation after three years. This review is now underway and will include a broad analysis of how future overall provision for older people can be made sustainable and best meet peoples’ needs. The balance between residential and community care and financing mechansims will be considered. The outcome of this review will inform future planning for all services, including residential centres.