Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Select Committee on the Future of Healthcare

Universal Health Care and the NHS: Discussion

9:00 am

Professor Allyson Pollock:

It is important to note that the original founding duty was to promote comprehensive health care. Underpinning the duty to promote comprehensive health care - this refers to the full range of everything - was a duty to provide key services under section 3 of the relevant legislation. I draw the Chair's attention to an NHS Bill that we have drafted and which will have its Second Reading in November. I sent the committee a link to it in advance of this meeting. The intention of this Bill is to reinstate the NHS for England. Part of its function is to bring together the legislation. It looks at the Secretary of State's duty to provide certain services, including mental health services and local pharmaceutical services. The full range of services has been listed in the relevant legislation since 1946. If the Minister is given an overarching duty to promote comprehensive health care, which is the real goal, and a secondary duty to provide key services, that should help to reconcile some of the issues the Chair is struggling with.


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