Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Department of Health
A clear governance and accountability framework was identified as a key building block of Sláintecare by the Committee on the Future of Healthcare. As part of its recommendations in this area, the Committee called for the HSE to become a more strategic and patient-focused ‘national centre’ carrying out national level functions, and the establishment of regional bodies with responsibility for the planning and delivery of integrated care at a regional level.
I intend to return to Government next year with detailed proposals regarding the roles and responsibilities of the new regional areas. This will also detail the consequently revised role and function of the HSE ‘national centre’, which will determine any impact on management and administration requirements, both at central and regional level. These proposals will also outline a timeline for the establishment of regional organisations and any legislative changes required to realise the Sláintecare vision.
In the meantime, my Department will work closely with the HSE to continue to improve management and accountability of the health system. At the same time, there will be continued engagement with all key stakeholders to ensure that the reform process does not cause disruption to services and accountability.
Finally, I want to make clear that the proposed changes to health structures are only one element among many of the broader reform plans arising from the Sláintecare report. These proposals must be seen as part of the broader proposals in the 2019 Sláintecare Action Plan to support and develop a better health and social care service based on clinical and service integration, enhanced service capacity and delivery and improved governance, accountability and patient safety arrangements.