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Health | Sláintecare Implementation

To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which the various changes and requirements needed to fully introduce Sláintecare are being pursued at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which Sláintecare provisions are currently embedded in the health service, with particular reference to the need to ensure regional representation on the Board of the HSE; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The Government is fully committed to achieving the Sláintecare vision of a universal single-tier health and social care system in which the people of Ireland can access the right care in the right place at the right time, regardless of their ability to pay.

To this end, the Sláintecare Programme Board was established by the Minister in late 2021. It is chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Health and the CEO of the HSE. The Board ensures that Sláintecare implementation is fully embedded and owned across the Department of Health and the HSE. The Board engages with the Joint Committee on Health on a regular basis.

The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy 2021-2023, and the 2022 Sláintecare Action Plan are focused on two reform programmes:

1-      Improving Safe, Timely Access to Care and Promoting Health & Wellbeing, and

2-      Addressing Health Inequalities — towards Universal Healthcare

Despite the ongoing challenges presented by COVID-19 and a major cyber-attack, learnings were made and significant Sláintecare reform and innovation is being delivered across our health and social services. Innovations and reforms have been made across a wide number of areas including community care, integrating care pathways, eHealth, increasing capacity, strategic organisation, healthy living, including:

  • We recruited over 2,158 staff to the Enhanced Community Care Programme, and we established 18 of the 19 Community Care Local Development Officers. The Home Support Pilot integrates GPs with community teams in 4 Community Health Care Networks. We established 90 of the planned 96 CHNs. Services to Older Persons and those with Chronic Disease are now provided by 33 new Community Specialist Teams. Timely community or home care is provided by 21 new Community Intervention Teams, reducing hospital admissions, and waiting lists.
  • Opening new Primary Care Centres (PCCs) brought their total number to 152. The GP Chronic Disease Management (CDM) Programme and the GP Access to Diagnostics programmes are ongoing. The Opportunistic Case Finding (OCF) and Prevention Pilot Programmes are using a Population Segmentation approach to apply bespoke interventions for those at risk, reducing ED attendance and waiting lists. Funding of €350m for 45 actions will further reduce waiting lists and initiate long-term reforms in acute care.
  • Preliminary Business Cases were completed for new elective centres in Cork and Galway are at the final stage of review and a Memorandum for Government expected to be presented for consideration in the very near future.
  • Sláintecare Integration Funding (SIF) of €28 million delivered 106 successful HSE and NGO projects that have been either mainstreamed or scaled by the HSE. Appraisal of applications for a second round of funding is underway with decisions on successful applicants due in the near future.
  • Progress on strategic change is shown by strong support for the implementation of the six Regional Health Areas. The RHA Implementation Team is comprised of senior members of the HSE, DoH, and DCEDIY staff working across six different workstreams along with colleagues from the Hospital Groups and CHOs for the RHA design and implementation phase. To note, the RHAs will serve one population in one region with one budget as formal regional divisions of the HSE, and as such, RHAs will report to the HSE Board. This policy direction balances the need for national consistency with regional autonomy and associated accountability. This will ensure national policies can be implemented consistently and disruption to the system will be minimised as we make this transition. This is in line with core Sláintecare.

Detailed progress on implementing Sláintecare to date is contained in the published progress reports and are available on the Government website (please see link: – Sláintecare: Publications ([] Voices of patients recorded in the Sláintecare 2021 end-of-year report, demonstrate how Sláintecare is improving people’s lives. They illustrate the outstanding work being done throughout the health system to adapt, to innovate and to move towards the provision of integrated services that put patients first.

The government remains strongly committed to implementing the health reform and will continue to focus on the implementation of Sláintecare.

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