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Saturday 18 November 2017

'Ireland needs three new hospitals in the next ten years to care for aging population' - report

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Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

Ireland will need to build three new hospitals the size of Beaumont over the next 10 years to cater for its ageing population, according to research commissioned by insurer Irish Life.

The research estimates the population of over 65s will grow by 200,000 over the next ten years. That cohort accounts for just over half of public beds, it said.

Jim Dowdall, managing director of Irish Life’s health division, said healthcare costs were likely to rise both in the public and private system. That’s likely to put upward pressure on health insurance premiums.

“We need to leave our various philosophies aside and try and design a health system that works, and that needs to be a structure that includes both the public and the private system because both of them have got a significant contribution to make,” Dowdall told the Irish Independent.

“That will require a mindset change, particularly a political mindset change. Because we need to find a way to leverage the private capacity that we have to offset and alleviate some of the burden that we have in the public health system.”

Meanwhile, the head of the company’s investment management division, one of Ireland’s biggest commercial landlords, said the demand for Dublin office space on foot of the Brexit vote may have been overstated.

Patrick Burke said the company had received more than 50 inquiries.

“Some of what’s come through already was already in train, or was significantly in train, and we’re talking about Irish operations who are increasing the size of their operations here from London bases,” Mr Burke said. He said there were inquiries from “a couple of names” who did not already have a presence here.

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