Slaintecare plan: sites for three new hospitals to solely treat public waiting list patients to be selected this year
Sites for the three new hospitals which will solely treat public waiting list patients are to be selected this year under the Slaintecare plan for 2019.
Slaintecare is the ten-year €2.8bn blueprint for the reform of the health service.
The 2019 action plan, published today, said the sites of the new hospitals will be chosen - although it is unclear when they will be constructed and at what cost.
It also proposes to implement the recommendations of a report which has examined how to remove private practice from public hospitals and if this is possible given remove €600m in funding.
Minister Harris said: "Sláintecare will deliver a health and social care service that meets the needs of our population and attracts and retains the very best healthcare professionals, managers and staff.
Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council Chair, Dr Tom Keane, said: “"As I know from experience, implementation does not happen overnight.
However, with the keen focus on structured delivery that this action plan presents, I am confident that we have identified and sequenced the first essential steps needed to create the foundations for an Irish health and social care service that, in due course, will provide the right service, in the right place, at the right time”.
But Social Democat TD Roisin Shortall, who chaired the all party Oireachtas committee which draw up the Slaintecare plan described today’s report as “wishy-washy.”
“It is yet further proof that the Fine Gael government is not remotely committed to delivering to Irish people the kind of universal public health service which this country has lacked for so long.”
“It’s been almost two years since the detailed and costed Sláintecare report was produced based on unprecedented political co-operation – yet today we have another report on a report on a report, but still no proper budget.
“This plan is deeply underwhelming and fails to live up to the ambition in Sláintecare for radical reform of our broken health system. It is particularly disappointing that the plan kicks to touch on Sláintecare’s core vision for a universal single-tier health and social care system where everyone has equitable access to services based on need, and not ability to pay.
“Today’s wishy-washy report is yet further proof that the Fine Gael government is not remotely committed to delivering to Irish people the kind of universal public health service which this country has lacked for so long.
“It takes a special kind of brass neck for the government to produce a plan like this at a time of heightened crisis in our health system, when almost 600,000 people are waiting to see a specialist and nursing staff are in revolt over pay and conditions including severe problems with recruitment and retention of key hospital staff."