Thursday, 28 September 2017
Department of Health
Oireachtas Joint Committee Reports
I supported the establishment of the cross-party Committee on the Future of Healthcare and have consistently supported its work. I have welcomed the publication of the Sláintecare report and in particular I have been encouraged by the level of cross party and stakeholder support that it has attracted.
The Government is committed to making tangible and sustainable improvements in our health services and the Sláintecare report now provides a framework to do this. We have a level of consensus and support for the vision and strategic direction outlined in the report that is unprecedented. I am determined to harness this and to work with colleagues across the political spectrum and with all stakeholders to move forward now on this very important agenda.
The Government has already given its approval to move ahead with the establishment of a Sláintecare programme office. This office will be tasked with implementing a programme of reform, as agreed by Government, arising from the Sláintecare Report. In parallel, work is underway in my Department to develop a detailed response to the report for consideration by Government in December.
We all know that there will be significant challenges to overcome in what will need to be a deep and systemic change in our healthcare system. But we don’t have a choice. And we need to begin this change process now. This is one of the key priorities for the Government, and the focus now must be on ensuring that the implementation phase is properly designed and that a clear implementation plan is developed as quickly as possible.