VitalSigns 2017 Reports Access To Healthcare As Top Priority For Irish People

The Community Foundation for Ireland, one of Ireland’s leading philanthropic organisations, today published a report entitled Ireland’s VitalSigns 2017, that grades the satisfaction of life in Ireland. Almost 1,000 people living in Ireland completed the citizens’ survey, rating Access to Healthcare as most important out of the 115 key social indicators presented. The Community Foundation for Ireland awarded over €6 million in grants to charitable causes in Ireland last year and utilises the VitalSigns report to inform people who want to give back about the causes that are concerning people in Ireland.


Ireland’s VitalSigns, a report card on the vitality of the nation is published every two years, and grades twelve key areas that affect the quality of life of those who live, work, play and learn in Ireland.


The report combines the survey results with published factual data and expert leaders’ opinions to create a holistic view of life in Ireland today. Originating in Canada, Ireland became the first European country to gauge the public sentiment of the standard of living within a nation using this method in 2013.


The report grades each area on a scale of A-F, similar to a school report card. Ireland dropped from a C+ grade in 2015 to a C grade in 2017 for satisfaction with life in Ireland. The area that people are most satisfied with is Arts and Culture. The areas that decreased in grade from 2015 were EnvironmentGetting Around and Older People.


Unsurprisingly, Housing scored the lowest at a D and over 500 individual comments were received from the public looking to voice their concerns in this area. The three priorities that people highlighted in this area were; homelessness, availability of rental housing and cost of renting.


Commenting on the report, Tina Roche, CEO, The Community Foundation for Ireland added:

“We work with generous people who want to give back in a strategic and impactful way. We often work closely with our philanthropic donors on advising them about the issues facing Irish society. Therefore, the VitalSigns report provides insights that assist us in focussing support towards areas where we can make the most impact. For example, an earlier VitalSigns report highlighted that young person often feel disconnected from the structures and initiatives that purport to support them. As a result of that insight, we set up a Youth Fund to help and support young people, specifically in the area of employment and to date awarded €177,450 to nine youth organisations. If philanthropy is to make an impact in Ireland, it is crucial that we gather the insights of people on the ground, listen to them and then really direct resources to where they matter most in the long-term.”


Ireland’s VitalSigns 2017 is a multi-dimensional report that reflects public perception, factual data and Community leaders’ perceptions capturing both hard facts and lived experience. In total, there are 115 indicators for people to voice their opinion on and these are divided amongst the following 12 issue areas – Arts and Culture, Learning, Safety, Strong Communities, Environment, Getting Around, Children and Young People, Older People, Inclusive Society, Work Equality and Financial Wellbeing, Housing and Health and Wellbeing.

Out of the 115 options that people were presented with the following were the top ten most important issues for those living in Ireland today:

  1. Access to healthcare
  2. Mental health
  3. Quality of the healthcare system
  4. Mental health among children and young people
  5. Child poverty
  6. Early childhood development
  7. Homelessness
  8. Home life for older people (independent living and home care services, family and informal care and nursing homes)
  9. Engagement in social connection, isolation and loneliness for older people
  10. Libraries and reading



The Community Foundation for Ireland empowers people who want to make a difference through a model of strategic giving which is effective and delivers. It works with individuals and families, corporations and charitable agencies to create permanent endowment funds and then uses the income to support causes around the country. The original capital is endowed so that it generates income in perpetuity. Every year, through the generous support of donors, The Community Foundation funds hundreds of innovative projects – large and small – in areas such as homelessness, children and youth issues, older people, women’s issues, health, ethnic minorities and LGBT+.

To find out more about VitalSigns and The Community Foundation for Ireland please visit our website

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