Wednesday, 26 April 2006
Departmental Strategy Statements.
Mary Harney (Tánaiste; Minister, Department of Health and Children; Dublin Mid West, Progressive Democrats)
The Government is fully committed to the implementation of the principles contained in the primary care strategy and this includes the development of primary care teams and networks. The implementation process at operational level is a function of the HSE, whose chief executive officer has identified as a priority the development of multidisciplinary primary care teams. The 2006 Estimate for the HSE includes an additional €10 million in revenue funding to enable the establishment of up to 100 new primary care teams. This will enable the provision of 300 additional front-line personnel to work alongside GPs to provide integrated and accessible services in the community. Work by the HSE to establish these teams is under way. In planning for the establishment of these teams, the executive intends to focus where possible on areas of disadvantage and with significant health inequalities.
I am encouraged to learn that in excess of 1,000 general practitioners have responded positively to an invitation from the HSE seeking expressions of interest. Following the identification by the executive of the GPs to be involved in the development of the teams, work will be required to realign HSE services to give best efficiencies for teamwork and to determine ideal team compositions to meet the needs of identified areas.
Ongoing implementation of the primary care strategy will focus on the reorganisation of the resources already available. This whole-system approach to implementation means change will be required in many sectors in the health service and not solely within primary care.