INMO Says ESRI Report Presents Major Challenge For Government And Citizens

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) welcomes today’s report, from The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), which details the huge challenges facing the health service arising from the significant demographic changes that will occur, in this country, over the next 12 years to 2030.


The report identifies the need for a major expansion, of all areas of our healthcare system, to ensure that our health services can meet the now known demands that will face it in the coming years.


The stark declaration that demand for health services will increase in such pivotal areas as:


  • acute hospital services – up 33%;
  • older person services – up 54%;


now requires the government, and all parties in the Dail, to commit to fund, as suggested in the Slaintecare Report, a major expansion of our health service so that it can serve the people of this country in the coming decade.


This report also supports the INMO’s demand, in our recent pre-budget submission, for the following:


  • 5% increase in the nursing/midwifery workforce over the next five years.


  • This will require a radical investment in nursing/midwifery both in terms of educating sufficient numbers of nurses/midwives, and ensuring that we retain adequate numbers for this expanding health service.


  • A minimum of 2,000 acute beds to meet the growth in demand.


  • In this context it is necessary to note that in the past decade acute hospital activity has increased by up to 20%.  This has resulted in a 94% increase in the number of admitted patients on trolleys.


  • A further increase in activity, of up to 33%, as indicated in this report, can only be met by a significant, and immediate, expansion of our acute bed capacity.


  • Older person services – the significant increase in demand for older person services, arising from our aging population, can only be met by investment in the complete range of services required including long stay and intermediate care beds, public health nursing services and home care/home help services.


  • This must also be planned for, and funded, as it is significantly labour intensive.


The government, and all political parties, must now move, from analysing and strategising about this challenge, and commit, in terms of multi-year funding, multi-year manpower planning and capital investment to develop, deliver and sustain, a significantly expanded health service capable of meeting the increase in demand identified.


Speaking this morning INMO General Secretary Designate, Phil Ni Sheaghdha, said:


“This is a most sobering, evidence based and well researched, report which confirms the dramatic challenges facing the health service over the coming decade and beyond.


We will not meet this challenge, as a country, by simply, year on year, growing our health service in an incremental fashion.


This report requires an immediate, collective and sustained response, from the political system, and across society, which must address the resource implications arising from this report, so that we have, as the Slaintecare Report proposes, a 10 year development plan for our health service.”


Ms. Ni Sheaghdha continued:


“This report tells us what is going to happen, over the next decade, and we must now act upon it. We must come together to deliver all actions necessary to ensure we address existing shortcomings and expand the service to meet this future demand.  This will require that the actions necessary to implement this report must be integrated into all future health policy decisions.


In that regard the INMO is calling for immediate roundtable discussions, of all interested parties, arising from today’s report with a view to agreeing the obvious actions and steps now required.”

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