Press Release

Minister Cowen announces establishment ofNational Advisory Committee on Palliative Care

At the opening of the Irish Hospice Foundation Conference of Voluntary Hospice Support Groups, the Minister for Health and Children, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D. to-day (9 October, 1998) announced his intention to establish a National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care.

It is the Minister’s intention that this Committee be established as part of the National Cancer Strategy and should work closely with the National Cancer Forum.

“The Cancer Strategy has been successful in focusing attention and resources on palliative care services. It is important, therefore, that mechanisms which are put in place for the co-ordination of hospice and palliative care services should be linked in with the Strategy,” the Minister said.

The Minister went on to say that he envisaged this Committee having an important role in advising on the development of hospice and palliative care services and on ways of encouraging greater partnership between the statutory and voluntary sector. “I would welcome the views of the Voluntary Hospice Support Groups on how this structure might best operate and in this regard I look forward to receiving a report from the Irish Hospice Foundation on the conclusions reached at this Conference”, the Minister added.

The Minister paid tribute to the work of the many volunteers attached to the hospice movement, the success of whose efforts can be seen throughout the country in the various hospice units which have been established in recent years.