One Island – Two Systems: A comparison of health status and health and social service use by community-dwelling older people in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland

This project involves a cross-sectional study of community- dwelling older people aged 65 + years in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Significant differences exist in policy, structures, coverage and funding between the two healthcare systems. These differences – a ‘one island – two systems’ situation – provide a unique opportunity to learn by comparing the health, social status and service experiences of two groups of older people on one island with two differing health and social services. Little comparative research has been conducted on the island to date. The aim of this report is to compare health and social status and related service provision in the Republic and Northern Ireland from the perspective of community-dwelling older people needing and/or using these services. Part of this comparison includes evaluation of possible urban/rural differences within and across regions.