Press Release

Minister addresses first meeting of Primary Care Steering Group

The Minister for Health and Children, Mr Micheál Martin, TD, today (27 June 2002) told the Primary Care Steering Group that it would have a major input into the development of the implementation plans for the Primary Care Strategy. The Steering Group, which is chaired by Professor Ivan Perry of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College, Cork, had its inaugural meeting in Dublin today.

The Primary Care Strategy, Primary Care: A New Direction, is a central element of the Health Strategy as a whole and represents a radical change in the way in which primary care services will be planned and delivered.

“The Government is fully committed to the implementation of this Strategy and this is specifically reflected in the new Programme for Government recently agreed,” said the Minister.

The Strategy, while setting out the key principles which will govern the restructuring and development of primary care, does not spell out in detail how the new structures will operate. “It will therefore be necessary to consider carefully a wide range of implementation issues,”

said the Minister. The Steering Group will give national leadership and guidance during the implementation process. He said that the Steering Group and the Primary Care Task Force which has been established within the Department of Health and Children would work closely together on the implementation of the Primary Care Strategy.

“The establishment of the Steering Group, with its wide representation of the many stakeholders involved, including the professions, the statutory and voluntary sectors and the clients of the services, is evidence of the Government´s commitment to a partnership approach in the implementation of the Strategy”, said the Minister.