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Health trends in Ireland – Do they affect your business?

In 2013 the Irish Government published a 60 page document entitled Health Ireland – A Framework for Improved Health & Wellbeing.

Although this report was published 4 years ago, we know that little has changed and some of the statistics are truly frightening.  In common with many developed countries there are significant challenges for society, the economy and the health system.   For example between 2010-2020 it is anticipated that the number of adults with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension and coronary heart disease will increase by:

 

An average of nearly 30,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year, this from a population of just under 5 million people.

The report also highlighted that in Ireland:

  • 61% of all adults are overweight
  • One million people smoke tobacco products
  • Alcohol consumption at 11.9 litres per capita is one of the highest in Europe
  • Mental Health is a growing health, social and economic issue with one in four adults experiencing mental health issues in their lifetime.
  • Health comprises the second largest component of public expenditure in Ireland after social protection.

As the report concludes: “There is an overwhelming argument for action: national level and international evidence  shows that health is an economic good in its own right and is a key factor in employment, earnings, productivity, economic development and growth. Better health can lead to economic growth, not only through an increase in total GDP as the population increases, but also, more importantly, through long term gains in human and physical capital that raise productivity and per capita GDP”.

These trends will impact on your business productivity and costs.

HCB Group can help employers deal with what are national worsening morbidity trend, by becoming your employee health management partner, working with you on a case-by-case basis to:

  • assess the ill or injured employee, and manage them back to the workplace, recommending and supporting them in making changes to their lifestyle.
  • assist the employer in preparing sustainable graduated return to work programmes and to make reasonable adjustments to specific work practices where and if appropriate.

Ours is a nurse-led service which focuses on ability and addresses the barriers preventing a return to work, whether they are psychological, social or medical. By looking at each individual absentee we can take the micro level information and look at the overall picture this paints within your organisation.  We can spot company specific trends and issues and benchmark your organisation against the national average.

Returning  employees back into the workplace and helping them to manage their own health makes more economic sense than ignoring the issues and simply accepting that  “it’s the national trend” and then recruiting and training new replacement employees with the consequent costs and disruption.

As the report concludes,  “There is an overwhelming economic argument for action: national and international evidence shows that health is an economic good in its own right and is a key factor in employment, earnings, productivity, economic development and growth. Better health can lead to economic growth, not only through an increase in total GDP as the population increases, but also, more importantly, through long-term gains in human and physical capital that raise productivity and per capita GDP”

About HCB Group

We have worked with insurers and employers in Ireland and the UK for over 30 years and consider ourselves to be one of the pioneers in using early intervention in order to manage absences from the workplace.  Over the years using our network of nurses, we have developed a comprehensive suite of Employee Health Management services focussing on enabling optimum return-to-work for absentees and disability insurance claimants, particulary in cases of subjective or self-reported conditions (such as stress or anxiety).

For more information please contact us,  or call Eoin Byrne on (086)2591415 or Karen Gamble on +353 1 628 1110 and find out how we can help you to manage and implement a coherent and effective Employee Health Management scheme for your workforce.