Key Facts



  • Over 360 NHI Members are key healthcare providers in local communities throughout Ireland. They have significantly invested to provide excellent standards of care and are regulated to the highest standards 

  • The sector is a vital part of Ireland's healthcare system

  • Private and voluntary nursing homes are 'a home from home' for 22,000 men and women who require the specialist, dedicated, continuous care nursing homes provide in Irish communities 

  • Private and voluntary nursing homes are key employers and make a very significant contribution to the local economy. There are over 22,000 beds in the private and voluntary nursing home sector, accounting for more than 80% of the country's long-term care beds 

  • Persons aged 65+ account for almost 50% of total bed days in Irish hospitals (Source: ESRI) 

  • 243,394 hospital bed days were lost during the year 2013 because of delayed discharges. Circa 75% of persons delayed discharged are older persons awaiting nursing home care (Source: HSE)


  • Privare and voluntary nursing homes are key employment providers with over 24,000 staff employed throughout Ireland. 

  • An equivalent number of jobs - approx 24,000 - are facilitated by the 440+ private and voluntary nursing homes. These dedicated healthcare setings are lead employers within Irish communities, making a significant contribution to hundreds of local economies 

  • With clearly defined, departmental coordinated strategy, developed in partnershIp with the sector, 900 direct new jobs could be created by the sector per annum, with up to 10,000 additional new jobs created over the next 10 years.


  • The private and voluntary nursing home sector is essential for the future provision of long-term residential care in Ireland 

  • Over the five year period 2006 - 2011 the number of persons aged 65+ increased 14%, an increase of 76,467 (467,926 - 535,393) 

  • The CSO projects the very old population will rise 'dramatically' in years ahead 

  • Approximately 22% of persons aged 85+ require the continuous care of nursing homes. This group is forecast to increase by 46% to 2021 

  • The BDO report Health's AGeing Crisis: Time for Action, published February 2014, projected requirement for up to 8,000 nursing home beds by year 2021

  • The ESRI has projected from 2007 to 2021 additional requirement for 13,324 long-term residential care places - 888 per annum 

  • The Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) confirms ESRI projections and anticipates the number of persons requiring nursing home care will increase by at least 59% (12,270 places) between the years 2006 - 2021.

  • The ESRI projects the population aged 65+ with severe disabilities will increase by 56% to 2021 from 2006 levels 

  • Minister with responsibility for Older People, Kathleen Lynch, informed Seanad Eireann 24th June 2014 ther "will be a deficit in the number of beds [long-term care] that will be necessary in the future" 

  • "Based on population projections, there will be a significant national deficit of long stay beds by 2016 based on the HSE's target of 4% of older persons in long stay care," HSE National Operational Plan 2013 

  • Due to reduced public provision, the significant demand in requirements for long-term residential care will have to be met by the private and voluntary sector 


  • NHI members across Ireland have collectively invested up to €2bn developing necessary capacity, undertaking infrastructural improvements and transforming nursing home care 

  • A strategy that supports private and voluntary nursing homes to meet the significant growth in demand for nursing home care must be a Government priority. This will enable our sector meet the growing requirements for long-term residential care 


  • Previous Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly and HSE have publicly advised of vast cost discrepancies in the delivery of nursing home care between the public sector and private and voluntary sector 

  • The cost to the State to provide care per patient for an overnight stay in the acute hospital sector is up to €1,000. Private and voluntary nursing homes provide specialist care in community settings for an equivalent average cost per resident per week

  • The reality is the State wishes to purchase care from the private and voluntary nursing home sector for an average price that is minimum 40% below that provided to public nursing homes 

  • "We have to ask why 50% additional costs pertain in public long-term institutions and facilities for the care of the elderly which do not apply in the private sector," then Minister for Health James Reilly, November 2011

  • Private and voluntary nursing homes provide excellent value for money to the State 

  • NHI believes that policymakers need to ensure that the system strikes a balance between achieving 'value for money' and ensuring the sustainability of the private and voluntary sector



Find a nursing home in your area...