The State of Health in the EU’s Country Health Profiles provide a concise and policy-relevant overview of health and health systems in the EU/European Economic area, emphasizing the particular characteristics and challenges in each country. The 2021 edition has a special focus on the impact and responses of European health systems to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Entry to medical education in Ireland can occur in two ways: students can access it directly from secondary school (in which case it takes them 5 to 6 years to complete the programme) or after receiving a first bachelor degree (in which case the programme can be completed in 4 years).
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Although Ireland has seen remarkable improvements in the health of its population in the last decades, several challenges lie ahead for its health system. Based on available OECD analyses, further progress could be made to promote efficient use of hospital resources, strengthen primary care, address high pharmaceutical spending and prevent the spread of risk factors including obesity and alcohol consumption.
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Despite cuts in recent years, health spending as a share of GDP in Ireland remains slightly higher than the EU average and pharmaceutical spending in particular remains relatively high.