Reforming our Hospitals

As set out in Future Health  – A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015, the Programme for Government has promised a fundamental reform of our health services. At the core is a single-tier health service, supported by Universal Health Insurance (UHI),  that is designed in accordance with the principles of social solidarity.  Future Health sets out core principles which will guide the design of the future system:

  • Keeping people healthy by working across sectors – working across sectors to promote health and wellbeing
  • Equity – universal access based on need, not ability to pay
  • Quality – best health outcomes for citizens within available resources
  • Empowerment – of citizens, patients and healthcare workers, through sharing of knowledge and information
  • Patient-centredness – responsive to patient needs
  • Efficiency and effectiveness – by alignment of incentives to achieve this
  • Regulation and patient safety – supporting provision of safe, high quality, integrated care in the most appropriate setting.

These principles underpin the reform of the hospital system including governance arrangements and reconfiguration of hospital services to ensure the delivery of safe, high quality hospital services throughout the country.  Ahead of the establishment of independent hospital trusts on a statutory footing, non-statutory hospital groups are being established. Hospital groups and, ultimately, independent hospital trusts are designed to deliver more responsive and equitable access to high quality hospital services.  Find out about hospital groups.

The Minister for Health convened the Emergency Department Taskforce to find long-term solutions to overcrowding.  The taskforce comprises relevant stakeholders such as Senior Doctors, Lead Hospital Consultants, HSE National Directors, Union representatives and senior officials from the HSE Acute Hospitals Directorate and the Department.  It’s chaired by the National Director of Acute Hospitals Services and will meet regularly in 2015 to address challenges in Unscheduled Care through consultation and partnership.  View the membership of the Taskforce here.  Read press release here.

The Department is currently developing a National Maternity Strategy which will be completed this year. The strategy will determine the optimal configuration of maternity services to ensure that women in Ireland have access to safe, high quality maternity care in a setting most appropriate to their needs.

On 30 April, 2015, the Minister for Health established a Steering Group to advise on the development of the strategy.  The group’s membership is here and their terms of reference here.

View the latest figures on the Weekly INMO Trolley Report here

We also – for the first time ever – have information on waiting lists for in-patient and out-patient appointments. With this information, we have set about reducing those waiting lists too. Click here for more.

Another crucial link in the chain is the ambulance service. Click here for information on how this service is changing.

The development of a new children’s hospital is also a priority. Click here for more information.