Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Department of Defence
Question 44: To ask the Minister for Defence if a work plan has been designed by his Department or the military authorities to address the issues raised in the medical services review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46245/10]
Question 47: To ask the Minister for Defence the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the medical services review for a future model of medical service provisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46244/10]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 47 together.
The PA Report assessed the current arrangements for the provision of medical services and proposed a model for future delivery of those services. The Consultants recommended a programme of major change. As recommended by PA, Working Groups have been set up to progress the various projects identified. These continue to meet regularly and all have submitted reports.
PA did not identify structures, numbers and processes within the Centralised Command Structure in detail. Work on this is being undertaken by the Organisation and Establishment Working Group which will bring forward recommendations on an overall structure to include staff appointments for the Future Medical Service. Following consideration by the Steering Group of their initial report, the Working Group is now conducting some further analysis which it is now expected will be finalised by the end of December 2010. Final reports from two of the Working Groups, the Training & Education and the Financial Arrangements & Outsourcing Working Groups have been completed. The final report of the Future Medical Information System Working Group will also be completed by the end of this month, and it, along with the aforementioned final reports, will be considered by the Steering Group. The Clinical Review Working Group will not be submitting its final report until February 2011. However, monthly reports are being submitted in the interim and action on items is being taken as decisions are made.
Following completion of this phase of work by the Working Groups and the finalisation and approval of their reports by the Steering Group, the full implementation of the PA recommendations can then be progressed. The process for implementation also requires that consultation with the Representative Associations must take place regarding any change within the scope of representation.
Te structure and systems recommended by PA have been designed to meet the demands and needs of the modern Defence Forces and I am committed to providing a sustainable medical service to meet the needs of the Defence Forces both at home and overseas.