Universal Primary Care in Ireland: Cost and Workforce Implications

December 12, 2022

The Economic and Social Review, Vol. 53, No. 4, Winter 2022. 

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Government policy in Ireland has identified the introduction of a universal primary healthcare system as a priority. This study examined the potential expenditure and workforce implications of introducing universal GP and community-based nurse care in 2018. The analysis estimated that providing universal entitlement to GP and community-based nurse services in 2018 would increase total healthcare expenditure by between 1.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent. An estimated additional 521 GPs and 1,500 community-based nurses would be required to meet the additional demand associated with a universal system and to address existing unmet needs.