Press Release

Minister Harris announces launch of recruitment process for Executive Director, Sláintecare Programme Office

Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD today announced the launch of the recruitment process for the Executive Director of the Sláintecare Programme Office.

This follows the commitment by the Minister to a very significant programme of health reform following the publication of the Sláintecare report by the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare in Ireland last year.

The Executive Director will be charged with leading and managing this reform programme, working in partnership with key stakeholders across the health system. The recruitment process will seek to attract very senior candidates with a strong track record in implementing large scale programmes of reform.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said, “the formal launch of this recruitment process marks a critical milestone in the Slaintecare implementation process. This will be the largest level of reform ever undertaken in the health sector, if not the public service and it is essential that we get the right person with the right skills and experience.”

The Minister continued, “we are all aware of the challenges of implementing change in our health system. Healthcare delivery is a complex endeavour and we in Ireland are not unique in encountering a variety of challenges. Establishing a well-resourced Sláintecare Programme Office with an Executive Director and team of a high calibre is a key step towards successful implementation of reform. €1 million has been allocated for the establishment of the Sláintecare Programme Office this year.”

Implementation of several key recommendations from the Sláintecare Report is already underway, with dedicated resourcing. The Minister announced a number of priority actions in October 2017, as recommended in the Sláintecare Report. These have been progressed as follows:

· Donal de Búitléir has been appointed to chair an independent group to examine the impact of removing private practice from public hospitals. This Group has commenced its work and launched a public consultation process before Christmas. It is expected to report in Q3.
· The Minister will bring a Memo to Government in the coming weeks with the General Scheme for a Bill to introduce a Governing Board for the HSE.
· A consultation process on the future alignment of hospitals groups and community health organisations will commence shortly.

In addition, the majority of additional funding for new health initiatives in Budget 2018 has been targeted at areas identified in the Sláintecare report.
The Minister concluded by saying, “the Government is fully committed to delivering this reform agenda. The development of a Sláintecare implementation plan is now well advanced and I expect to bring this to Government for consideration shortly.”


Notes for Editors

The role of Executive Director of the Sláintecare Program Office will be advertised by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) on Friday 12th January. Given the importance of the role, the Department of Health is seeking an exceptional candidate to lead the Sláintecare programme of reform of the health service in Ireland.
A broad and comprehensive executive search will be commissioned as part of the PAS-led recruitment process. It is expected that on foot of this process, a recommendation for an individual for appointment will be made to the Department of Health before April 2018.
The Slaintecare Programme Office will be situated in the Department of Health. The Executive Director of Sláintecare will report to the Secretary General of the Department of Health and will be accountable to the Minister for Health. S/he will be a member of the senior Management Board of the Department for Health. The Sláintecare programme of reform will be under the auspices of the Cabinet Committee on Health, chaired by the Taoiseach.

Budget 2018 provided the following targeted funding for areas identified in the Sláintecare report:
· €25m allocated to a new Primary Care Fund
· €37m allocated to additional home care and transition beds
· €17.5m allocated to reduced medicine and prescription charges
· €75m targeted funding allocated for waiting list reduction
· €1m allocated to the Sláintecare Programme Office


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