Press Release

HIQA to assure value for money and promote delivery of the highest quality and most efficient health services for people

Speaking today (2 March 2005), at the first meeting of the Board of the interim Health Information and Quality Authority, Mr. Pat McGrath, Chairperson said “the Health Information and Quality Authority will play a crucial role in promoting delivery of the highest quality and most efficient health services to people in every part of the country”.

Addressing the Tánaiste and the Board in Cork, Mr. McGrath said that he believed that the Authority will provide the common currency of efficiency, quality and effectiveness for the health sector, to inform and assist decision-making at all levels, national, local and individual.

He stressed that HIQA will ensure that best practice is advanced nationwide, rapidly, effectively and consistently, acting as a resource for planners, healthcare professionals, patients and their carers to help them make decisions about treatment and healthcare.

 

HIQA will provide a “stamp of assurance” for the public and the taxpayers’ that the highest possible standards of safety and systems are adopted by and embedded within the sector and that value for money in the delivery of health and personal social services is guaranteed.

 

Mr. McGrath said after the meeting, that the Board had agreed that as a priority it will actively pursue the recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer for the new Authority.

 

The interim Board will work in partnership with the expertise of the wider healthcare community including, healthcare professionals, patients and carers, industry, the voluntary sector and the academic community. The interim HIQA will complement and inform the work of the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health and Children in their respective roles of managing delivery of the health services and strategic health policy formulation and evaluation. The Board has established a committee to oversee and manage the consultation process with key stakeholders.

The Board of the interim Health Information and Quality Authority was announced by An Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children on 28 January 2005. Today was the first meeting of the Board, held in the Maryborough House Hotel, Cork and was attended by the Tánaiste.

The interim HIQA is responsible for making arrangements and preparation for the establishment of the Health Information and Quality Authority due to be established by primary legislation during the next couple of months.

The role of the Authority will be to:

  • develop, set and monitor quality standards for the delivery of health and personal social services;
  • assure, measure and improve the delivery of health and personal social services through accreditation programmes, information systems and health technology assessment;
  • and having regard to available resources for provision of health and personal social services, promote practices that evidence has shown produce high quality and best possible outcomes.