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Health

27th May 2024

Alarming new figures show 54% cannot afford the cost of their healthcare

Sophie Collins

New research has shown that an alarming number of people can’t meet the costs of their healthcare in Ireland

The figures show that 54% say that they cannot currently afford the costs associated with their health and the health of their families.

The research revealed surprising insights into the dynamic between the wider population and those who fit within the GenZ age category between 18 and 25.

According to the new stats, there is agreement across all age groups surveyed that GenZ is the demographic that the Irish healthcare system is least equipped to manage. 

Although 55% of those surveyed currently consider themselves to be healthy, a recurring theme from previous My Healthcare, My Future reports, notes that the cost of healthcare is a key hurdle people face to having effective healthcare. 

51% of the population say they currently have health insurance, which marks a drop of 4% from the previous My Healthcare, My Future report in 2021.

Many respondents blamed the high costs of health insurance as the reason they’re either reconsidering it or don’t have cover at all. 

Of more concern is the fact that 54% say that they cannot currently afford the costs associated with their health and the health of their families and loved ones.

Despite this, there is an even optimistic and pessimistic view towards the future of healthcare in Ireland with a marginal increase in pessimism. 

  • 45% of all people surveyed say they are pessimistic about the future, up 6% from 2021. 
  • 43% say they are optimistic, which marks a drop by 2% since 2021.  

Over six in ten (62%) believe that Ireland is trailing behind other EU countries and the UK when it comes to the quality of the healthcare system. 

Speaking about the research findings, specifically relating to younger audiences and GenZ, Joanne Dolan, Co-founder of Teen-Turn, said: 

“To help meet the needs of younger adults, we need to understand how to address their expectations, be inclusive, communicate and be prepared to listen to feedback. 

“For example, using terminology and labels such as ‘GenZ’ can alienate younger people; in my experience of working with young adults, they are much more fluid about how they identify themselves. 

“To help meet these perceptions, I believe more can be done to reduce the cost barriers and bring healthcare directly to younger people so that the solution is on their doorstep. 

“The school’s vaccination programme is a great example of effectively bringing healthcare to younger adults, and we can likely address other issues with a similar focus.”

Youth Advocate, Sophie Kathryn, and Graduate in Applied Psychology, said: “Looking at the differences between younger people and the wider population, I think it is surprising to see young populations index lower, their mental health, fitness, diet, etc. 

“However, looking more closely, the number of younger people prioritising their mental health is still high (70%). 

“Traditionally, younger people have always been associated with the topic of mental health, but post COVID-19, it may be fair to say that everyone has re-prioritised what is important to them, and this might be why we’re seeing older populations and, indeed, the wider population, index so highly on mental health.”

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