Dublin, 21st June 2017 - The 12th Pfizer Health Index, an annual survey which charts the health perceptions, attitudes and behaviours of Irish adults, was today launched at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin.
Focusing this year on the theme of workplace health, the findings of the Index were discussed by guest speakers, Prof. Anne Drummond, Director of the UCD Centre for Workplace Safety and Health, Kate O'Flaherty, Director of the Health and Wellbeing Programme at the Department of Health and Health Index Ambassador, former Rose of Tralee and Startup Founder Maria Walsh. Paul Reid, Managing Director of Pfizer Ireland presented the findings to an audience of healthcare and employment-related associations and stakeholder groups.
The Pfizer Health Index is a national study of health and wellness, and focuses on topics such as attitudes and perception of health, disease incidence, illness experience and impact, health funding, interaction with medical services and levels of health insurance. This year's findings demonstrated that:
Each year, the Pfizer Health Index focuses on a particular topic and this year, the topic of health in the workplace was chosen. The survey asked questions such as how workers feel about health and wellbeing, how stressful their jobs are and how and whether employers in Ireland prioritise workplace health.
In terms of workplace health, the Pfizer Health Index found that:
Unveiling the Pfizer Health Index findings, Paul Reid, Managing Director of Pfizer Ireland said, "Each year, the Pfizer Health Index shines a light on a new aspect of health policy. This year, as the economy recovers and employment levels continue to rise, it is timely to be focusing on workplace health and to ask questions of employers and employees - as one of Ireland's largest private sector employers, at Pfizer we are pleased to participate in the conversation. Against a backdrop of economic renewal, it is also noteworthy, that again in 2017, the survey shows that people view health as the greatest priority area for Government spending."
Kate O'Flaherty, Director of the Health and Wellbeing Programme at the Department of Health, said, "We know work is good for our health and the workplace is recognised internationally as a priority setting for promoting and improving health and wellbeing. Healthy Ireland is currently developing a national Healthy Workplace Framework, which aims to maximize the opportunity this presents to improve the health of a large part of our population. Building a workplace culture which values health and wellbeing will be of benefit to all sectors."
Professor Anne Drummond, Director of the UCD Centre for Safety and Health at Work, said, "The majority of adults spend so much of their time at work that protecting and promoting the health of the working age population can only be good for individuals, organisations and ultimately the economy, thereby benefiting every citizen. The Pfizer Health Index results highlight areas of their health that are of concern to Irish workers. These results are timely in the context of the current development of a national Healthy Workplaces framework as part of the national Healthy Ireland goal, and confirm that workers see the value of good health."
Health Index Ambassador, Maria Walsh said, "As workers, we are continually tackling challenging phases in our professional lives – while also managing our personal lives. The Pfizer Health Index has shared insights into how we need to collectively start taking accountability for sustaining and also further developing workplaces driven by employee wellbeing. This has particularly been shown to be the case for the 30+ age bracket. While I am a ‘newbie' to the 30+ group, I am not new to the conversations on the importance of a healthy work/life balance. It is essential we all push towards and promote these conversations at work."
Published: 21st June 2017.