A Government spending review has found that health funding increase estimates will need to be almost doubled to maintain existing levels of services for Ireland's ageing population in the coming years.
The review, published by the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, estimates that an additional €324 million will be needed in 2022 to maintain existing levels of service for the country's growing cohort of older people.
This forecast for increased funding compares with an estimate of €175 million for 2022, which was included in a similar review two years ago.
Estimates contained in the latest review are also significantly higher for 2023-2025.
The new estimate for increased spending to maintain existing levels of health services for 2023 is €346 million, rising to €368 million in 2024, while an additional spend of €385 million in 2025 is estimated to be needed.
This compares with estimates of €186 million for each year from 2023-2025 contained in the 2019 review.
It is mentioned in the review that additional provision may have to be made in the Budget to address the increased health costs as a result of Ireland's ageing population.
The main reason for the increase in estimates is due to the use of more age-specific data and expanding the scope of service areas modelled.
The latest paper on spending estimates includes more detail on demographics for the health system, which was not available for the 2019 review.
Costs for pay are not included in the new estimates, which were carried out by the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service.