Press Release

Major Rationalisation of Health Sector Agencies

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, T.D., today (Wednesday, 15th October 2008) announced a major programme of agency rationalisation in the health sector.

The programme involves a total of 15 agencies as follows:

3 agencies to be amalgamated to form a new Public Health and Medicines Safety Authority-

Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Irish Medicines Board

Office of Tobacco Control

6 agencies to be integrated into the Health Service Executive-

National Cancer Screening Service

National Cancer Registry

Drug Treatment Centre Board

Crisis Pregnancy Agency

Post Graduate Medical & Dental Board

National Council for Professional Development of Nursing & Midwifery

3 agencies to be integrated into the Department of Health and Children-

National Council for Ageing and Older People (into Office of the Minister for Older People)

Children Acts Advisory Board (into Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs)

Women’s Health Council

3 agencies to be integrated into the Health and Social Care Professionals Council-

National Social Work Qualifications Board

Opticians Board

Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council

The Minister said:“The primary aim of these measures is to streamline service delivery, professional registration and policy making in a number of areas in the health sector, through the integration and/or amalgamation of functions. Efficiencies will derive over time from economies of scale and the elimination of duplication in areas such as recruitment, procurement, payroll and ICT systems.”

In 2002, prior to the implementation of the health reform programme, there were a total of 57 health agencies (including 6 statute based hospitals). Seventeen agencies were abolished when the HSE was established in 2005, and there are currently 34 health agencies (excluding the 6 statute based hospitals).

“The implementation of the rationalisation programme will mean that, including the HSE and two North/South bodies, there will ultimately be 18* agencies in the health sector.”

Details of the rationalisation programme and the timeframe for implementation are appended.

*The 18 remaining agencies will be:

  • HSE, HIQA, Adoption Board, Office of Ombudsman for Children, Health Research Board, Health Insurance Authority, Irish Blood Transfusion Service, Irish Haemophilia Council, Mental Health Commission, National Treatment Purchase Fund;
  • Food Safety Promotion Board and Institute of Public Health (both North/South bodies);
  • Five “professions” regulators (Medical and Dental Councils, Bord Altranais, Health & Social Care Professionals Council, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland), and
  • A “product” regulator. (The new Public Health and Medicines Safety Authority with responsibility for food, medicines and tobacco.)

 

Appendix

Programme for Rationalisation of Agencies in the Health Sector
Agency Rationalisation Measure Timeframe
National Council on Ageing and Older People Integrate into the Office for Older People, Department of Health and Children 2009
Children Acts Advisory Board Integrate into the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Department of Health and Children 2009
Women’s Health Council Integrate into the Department of Health and Children 2009
National Cancer Screening Service and National Cancer Registry Board Integrate into the HSE 2009 2010
Crisis Pregnancy Agency Integrate into the HSE 2009
Drug Treatment Centre Board Integrate into the HSE 2009
Postgraduate Medical and Dental Board Integrate into the HSE/Medical Council 2009
National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery Integrate into the HSE/Bord Altranais 2010
National Social Work Qualifications Board,
Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council and
Opticians Board
Integrate into the Health and Social Care Professionals Council 2009
2011
2011
Food Safety Authority of Ireland,  Irish Medicines Board and Office of Tobacco Control Amalgamate into a new Public Health and Medicines Safety Authority, to be created. 2011