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State funded 77% of health spend last year
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23 Jun 2023 / ireland Print

State funded 77% of health spend last year

Healthcare expenditure in Ireland was 12.2% of modified Gross National Income in 2021 compared with the OECD average of 10.4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), new CSO data shows.

In 2021 the Government financed 77% of healthcare expenditure while private health insurance companies paid for 12%.

Most healthcare spending occurred within the hospital setting, accounting for 37% of the total expenditure on healthcare in 2021.

Preventative care spending rose by 66% in the year which includes COVID-19 testing and vaccination expenditure.

Preliminary estimates for 2022 shows total expenditure on healthcare was €30.5 billion, which is a 6.6% increase on 2021.

Statistician Elaine O'Sullivan said: “The total spend on healthcare was €28.6 billion in 2021. As expected, COVID-19 continued to have an impact on healthcare expenditure in 2021.

"However, when comparing 2021 with 2020 we can see a return to previous levels of spending by private health insurance companies with the resumption of normal healthcare activities."

Double-digit increase

“While Government spending on healthcare increased by 7% in 2021, the spending by private health insurance companies rose by 16%. However, this double-digit increase reflects the low-base in 2020 resulting from the focus of healthcare activities on COVID-19.

“As a result of the growth in Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), healthcare as a percentage of GDP is below the OECD average. In 2021, health expenditure in Ireland represented 6.7% of GDP compared with the OECD average of 10.4%.

“However, a comparison using modified Gross National Income (GNI*), a measure which eliminates globalisation effects, puts Ireland at 12.2%,” she explained.

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