The ESRI publishes new report highlighting health inequalities among minority groups in Ireland

The Economic and Social Research Institute last week published their report, Unequal chances? Inequalities in mortality in Ireland (The “Report”).

The Report highlights the inequalities in mortality in Ireland and Irish Travellers are among those experiencing these inequalities.

The report shows that Irish Travellers accounted for 0.2 per cent of the 2016 population aged 65+ but comprised 0.3 per cent of the deaths from COVID-19. The ESRI acknowledge this is probably an undercount in terms of COVID-19 deaths due to lack of data on ethnicity.

The report also shows that perinatal deaths (in first weeks of life) allocated to non-White and Irish Traveller mothers is greater than their proportion in the 2016 Census of population.

The ESRI highlights the need for timely and comprehensive improved data to monitor progress over time and achieve the commitments to reduce inequality that are contained in Healthy Ireland and Sláintecare Strategic Action Plans and the Healthy Ireland Outcomes Framework.

“It is only with improved data on ethnicity that we can find out what is happening in health systems for minority ethnic groups,” said Lynsey Kavanagh, Health Co Ordinator, Pavee Point.

Life expectancy and mortality are some of the most widely available indicators of population health and are commonly used by governments and international organisations as key indicators of social progress. In addition to being unfair, inequalities in mortality and life expectancy across population groups are a key policy concern as they are potentially avoidable.

In the ESRI Report, data from a variety of sources are used to examine inequalities in mortality in Ireland over the period since 2000, focusing on two broad dimensions of inequality: socio-economic status (SES) (proxied by socio-economic group, which is derived from occupation), and ethnicity/country of birth/nationality. Due to data availability, the analyses of inequalities focus on two key population groups (young infants, and adults).

Full report here: Unequal chances? Inequalities in mortality in Ireland



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