Healthy on av­er­age – yet Wex­ford and En­nis­cor­thy among WORST in Ire­land The Cen­sus threw up some in­ter­est­ing re­sults. re­ports

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

WEX­FORD peo­ple are in rel­a­tively good health ac­cord­ing to the lat­est cen­sus fig­ures – but cer­tain towns in the county re­ported some of the worst lev­els of health na­tion­wide.

Last Thurs­day the Cen­tral Statis­tics Of­fice (CSO) pub­lished the lat­est vol­ume of fig­ures from Cen­sus 2016.

The pro­file – Health, Dis­abil­ity and Car­ers – show that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in Wex­ford consider them­selves to be in very good or good health.

A to­tal of 87 per cent of peo­ple liv­ing in the county consider them­selves to be in very good or good health. Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­sus 2016 fig­ures 88,401 peo­ple in the county which is 59 per cent felt they were in very good health while 28 per cent or 41,917 said they were in good health.

This is more or less on a par with national fig­ures when 87 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion con­sid­ered them­selves to be in very good (59.4 per cent) or good health (27.6 per cent).

In County Wex­ford, 2,621 peo­ple or 1.8 per cent said their health was bad/very bad which is just above the national and Le­in­ster av­er­age which both stand at 1.6 per cent.

How­ever the fig­ures vary greatly across the county.

In Wex­ford town, a to­tal of 11,099 peo­ple said their health was very good. 5,847 re­ported their health was good, 2,102 said it was fair while 412 said it was bad. 86 peo­ple re­ported that their health was very bad.

The num­ber of peo­ple in Wex­ford town who said they had bad or very bad health is 498 which is 2.5 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion. This is one of the high­est ar­eas of bad health in the coun­try sec­ond only to Long­ford where al­most three per cent of peo­ple said they had bad or very bad health.

Wex­ford town and En­nis­cor­thy along with Tul­lam­ore and Ca­van all had rate of 2.5 per cent.

In En­nis­cor­thy, 6,156 said their health was very good, 3,400 said it was good, 1,227 said it was fair while 231 re­ported it was bad. Forty-eight peo­ple said their health was very bad.

In Gorey 5,625 peo­ple said their health was very good; 2,919 re­ported it was good; 874 re­ported it was fair; 143 re­ported it was bad and 23 peo­ple said it was very bad. Peo­ple with bad or very bad health in Gorey rep­re­sent 1.7 per cent of the town’s pop­u­la­tion which is marginally be­low the county av­er­age of 1.8 per cent.

In New Ross, 4,297 peo­ple said their health was very good; 2,498 re­ported it was good; 796 re­ported it was fair; 154 re­ported it was bad and 24 re­ported it was very bad. Peo­ple with bad or very bad health in New Ross rep­re­sent 2.2 per cent of the town’s pop­u­la­tion which is above the county av­er­age of 1.8 per cent and only slightly lower than the worst rate of health in the county of 2.5 per cent which is ex­pe­ri­enced in Wex­ford town and En­nis­cor­thy.

Cour­town Har­bour fared only slightly bet­ter with 2.1 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion record­ing bad or very bad health. In Cour­town Har­bour 1,909 peo­ple said their health was very good; 1053 said it was good; 405 re­ported it was fair; 68 felt it was bad and nine peo­ple it was very bad.

1.8 per cent of peo­ple in Bun­clody-Car­rig­duff re­ported they had bad or very bad health which is bang on the county av­er­age. In the area 1,142 peo­ple said their health was very good; 604 peo­ple said it was good; 179 re­ported it was fair; 32 said it was bad and just four peo­ple felt it was very bad.

Fi­nally, in Ross­lare 935 peo­ple felt their health was very good; 487 felt it was good; 131 re­ported it was fair; 19 said it was bad and nine peo­ple said it was very bad which is the same num­ber as Cour­town Har­bour. Peo­ple with bad or very bad health in Ross­lare rep­re­sent 1.7 per cent of the town’s pop­u­la­tion which is marginally be­low the county av­er­age of 1.8 per cent.

Gorey and Ross­lare have the low­est level of bad health in the county stand­ing at 1.7 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion – but this is still above the national av­er­age of 1.6 per cent.

Dr Liam Twomey, a for­mer Fine Gael deputy, said he wasn’t a bit sur­prised by the CSO find­ings.

‘A lot of peo­ple for­get that Wex­ford isn’t a wealthy county. There is a lot of so­cial deprivation in the county. It is quite clear from these Cen­sus re­sults that this so­cial deprivation is very much linked to poor health.

ANY PEO­PLE are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing poor hous­ing, un­em­ploy­ment, smok­ing etc and this is all con­tribut­ing to poor health.

‘We have to fo­cus not just on the ac­tual health ser­vice but we also need to en­sure we have things like ac­cess to jobs, ad­e­quate hous­ing and proper ser­vices. I wasn’t a bit sur­prised by the statis­tics. Some peo­ple have the per­cep­tion that Wex­ford is a wealthy area but it’s not the case. The so­cial deprivation is quite stark both in ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas. Poverty and poor hous­ing is be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced across the board and isn’t con­fined to a cou­ple of the big towns in the county. ‘When I was a TD it was very easy to see the prob­lems that were out there and that were be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced be­cause of the so­cial eco­nomic prob­lems in Wex­ford.

‘That’s the rea­son why the peo­ple from Wex­ford that are elected to the Dail must con­tinue to rep­re­sent the county as best they can and to fight to additional re­sources.’

Na­tion­ally, 643,131 peo­ple, or 13.5 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion, in­di­cated that they had a dis­abil­ity and the num­ber of car­ers (peo­ple pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar un­paid help for a friend/ fam­ily mem­ber) in­creased by 8,151 (4.4 per cent) to 195,263.

In Wex­ford the 22,650 peo­ple said they had at least one dis­abil­ity mak­ing up 15.1 per cent of the county’s pop­u­la­tion, com­pared with 13.5 per cent at national level. Of these, 11,172 (49.3 per cent) were male and 11,478 (50.7 per cent) were fe­male.

10,612 peo­ple in­di­cated that they had ‘a dif­fi­culty with pain, breath­ing, or any other chronic ill­ness or con­di­tion’, while 1,801 in­di­cated they had blind­ness or a se­ri­ous vis­ual im­pair­ment and 3,809 had deaf­ness or a se­ri­ous hear­ing im­pair­ment.

This is an in­crease of al­most two per cent on the 2011 fig­ures which showed that 20,134 peo­ple or 13.9 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion in the county had at least one dis­abil­ity.

A to­tal of 6,023 peo­ple within the county said that they ‘pro­vided reg­u­lar un­paid per­sonal help for a friend or fam­ily mem­ber with a long-term ill­ness, health prob­lem or dis­abil­ity’. This com­prises 4 per cent of the county’s pop­u­la­tion and is an in­crease of 260 peo­ple com­pared to Cen­sus 2011.

Of the car­ers in the county, 3,738 were fe­male (62.1 per cent) and 2,285 were male (37.9 per cent). There were 109 car­ers un­der 15, com­pared with 124 in 2011.

Car­ers pro­vided 235,537 hours of care per week, an av­er­age of 44.7 hours per carer per week. The to­tal amount of weekly care hours was an in­crease of 15,040 hours (6.8 per cent) on 2011. How­ever not all car­ers in­di­cated the num­ber of care hours pro­vided so the fig­ures above re­late solely to those who did so.

Deirdre Cullen, Se­nior Statis­ti­cian, said: ‘Cen­sus 2016 was the sec­ond cen­sus in which the Ir­ish pub­lic were asked to rate their own health so we can now make com­par­isons over time.

‘The re­port also pro­vides de­tailed data and anal­y­sis on those with a dis­abil­ity while also ex­am­in­ing changes in re­la­tion to car­ers, look­ing at is­sues such as the age and gen­der pro­file of car­ers, the num­ber of car­ers in each county, and the hours of care pro­vided.’

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