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The report highlighted that after a long term decline, private medical insurance holder numbers stabilised at 36 per cent however membership is still far lower than pre-recession.
Medical card holders also remained the same as 2015 at 43 per cent but remain higher than pre-recession. The report also highlighted that attendance at the GP increased significantly over the past five years, from 23 per cent attending in the past week or month compared with 29 per cent in 2016.
Dr Nina Byrnes, GP, said: “I’m delighted to be involved in the launch of the eleventh annual edition of the Pfizer Health Index. It is reassuring to see that people are more positive about their health and in general we have seen an increase in the numbers of people visiting their GP and participating in health checks or screenings. Based on my general practice, the most common reasons for visiting the GP are skin conditions, colds and flus, musculoskeletal complaints, psychological issues, chronic disease care, pregnancy care, child immunisations and preventative health investigations.”
Speaking at the launch, Mr Paul Reid, Managing Director, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, said: “I would echo the sentiment of the Index findings this year. The economy continues to dramatically improve across a wide range of indicators providing the opportunity not only to continue with reversing cuts introduced during austerity, but also now to look at where we should invest. It will take some time yet and more years of good economic performance but we urgently must look at our investment in health which was reduced in recent years. We are in an era of scientific advancement and technological progress with the potential to significantly improve people’s health and extend life with policies and strategies which support investment in health innovation.”