Ireland has ranked high among the happiest countries in the world, the best countries to travel, and the most admired and respected countries. It was even named the best country in the world by the 2014 Good County Index.
Now, Ireland has come in at the top of a new list: the best countries in the world to die.
In a recent study from the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranking the quality of end of life care around the world, Ireland ranked fourth.
In first place was the UK, followed by Australia and New Zealand. The United States ranked ninth.
The EIU praised the UK’s “comprehensive national policies, the extensive integration of palliative care into the National Health Service, a strong hospice movement, and deep community engagement on the issue.”
Myanmar, Nigeria, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Iraq rounded out the list, ranking in the bottom five.
The EIU’s 2015 Quality of Death survey, commissioned by the Lien Foundation, a Singaporean philanthropic organization, examined the end of life care services in 80 countries by combing through official data and interviewing 120 palliative care experts from across the globe.
Researchers looked at each country’s palliative care and healthcare environment, human resources in the field, the affordability of care, the quality of care, and community engagement.
They also measured the burden of diseases for which palliative care is necessary, the old age dependency ratio, and the speed at which the populations would be ageing from 2015 – 2030.
The study’s overall conclusion? That countries must hurry to ensure their quality of care meets the needs of their fast-expanding elderly populations.
“Many developing countries are still unable to provide basic pain management due to limitations in staff and basic infrastructure,” it said.
“Yet some countries with lower income levels demonstrate the power of innovation and individual initiative.” Among these the study noted Panama, Mongolia and Uganda.
To read the full study report, click here.
How do you think Ireland’s end of life care measures up? Share your thoughts in the comment section, below.