Eligibility rates and representativeness of the General Medical Services scheme population in Ireland 2017-2021: A methodological report [version 1; peer review: 1 approved]
Background: In Ireland, the means tested General Medical Services (GMS) scheme provides access to a range of healthcare services at no or low cost to approximately one third of the population. Individuals eligible for the GMS scheme are often a focus of research, as a population that account for a large proportion of healthcare services use. The aim of this study is to describe the eligibility rates and representativeness of the GMS scheme population over time, with respect to age group, sex, and geographical area in Ireland.
Methods: Population data was obtained from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), using 2016 Census figures and projected population figures for 2017-2021. GMS eligibility figures for 2016-2021 were obtained from the HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Service (PCRS). GMS eligibility rates and relative rates of eligibility were calculated for 2016-2021 by age group and sex. Additionally, 2016 eligibility rates were calculated by geographical area.
Results: The crude eligibility rate decreased from 36.4% in 2016 to 31.2% in 2020, with a slight increase to 31.6% in 2021. In the 75+ years age group, 78.2% of the total population were eligible for the GMS scheme in 2021. The age group with the lowest rate of eligible individuals was the 25-34 age group, with 19.5% eligible in 2021. The eligibility rate was higher among females compared to males throughout the study period. The highest eligibility rate was seen in Donegal, with a crude rate of 52.8%. Dublin had the lowest rate, with a crude rate of 29.3%.
Conclusions: GMS eligibility varies greatly depending on age, sex, and geographical area, and decreased between 2016 and 2021. This study uses the most up-to-date data available to provide age group, sex and area-based figures for GMS eligibility which may inform planning and conduct of research focusing on GMS-eligible individuals
Health Research Board [SDAP-2019-023]
CommentsThe original article and an updated version may be available on https://hrbopenresearch.org/
Published CitationMattsson M, Flood M, Wallace E, Boland F. Eligibility rates and representativeness of the General Medical Services scheme population in Ireland 2017-2021: A methodological report [version 1; peer review: 1 approved] HRB Open Research. 2022;5:67
Publication Date20 October 2022
- Data Science Centre
- General Practice
- School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
PublisherF1000 Research Ltd