Press Release

Minister for Health announces appointment of National Steering Committee for Health Reform Programme

The Minister for Health and Children, today announced details of the Chair and membership of the National Steering Committee to oversee the Health Reform Programme.

Commenting, Minister Martin said the role of the National Steering Committee will be to oversee the different strands of the Health Reform Programme, confirming direction and ensuring objectives are delivered.

It will provide a co-ordinating forum for actions being led by the Hanly Group, Interim HSE and Department respectively. It will provide guidance on programme planning and ensure direction and progress is in line with the Government´s decisions. It will report to the Minister for Health and Children and the Cabinet Committee on a regular basis. Reports will comment on progress achieved and should surface, in particular, any issues which require a response at Government level. It will liaise with the Health Reform Project Office (within the Department of Health and Children) and the Board of the Interim Health Service Executive in the implementation process.

Minister Martin noted that the Health Reform Programme was unprecedented in its scale, breadth, complexity and that an ambitious time-table was being adopted for 2004. It therefore required co-ordination and leadership at the highest level and an ongoing link with Government through the Cabinet Sub-Committee.

The Minister identified four distinct but related streams of activity planned for 2004:

  • The on-going management of the health system and internal preparations for the new organisation and governance arrangements being led by the Chief Executive Officers of Health Boards and the Health Boards Executive;
  • The set-up of the Health Service Executive being led by the board of the Interim Health Service Executive, chaired by Mr Kevin Kelly
  • The work of the Acute Hospitals Review Group, to be established later this month and chaired by Mr David Hanly; and
  • The legislative, mainstreaming, human resource and industrial relations aspects of the Reform Programme for which the Department of Health and Children will continue to have lead responsibility.

He described the rationale for the National Steering Group as a means of ensuring coherence and joint planning between these four separate but linked work streams during 2004.

The Minister commented that quite deliberately the composition of the National Steering Committee has been kept tightly focussed reflecting the main tasks to be achieved over the next twelve months in particular. The Minister expressed his thanks to the members of the Steering Group and wished them well in their work over the coming period.

Details of the membership of the National Steering Committee below:

National Steering Committee Health Service Reform Programme Members

  • Mr Kevin Kelly – Chair (Mr Kelly has also been appointed as Executive Chair of the Board of the Interim Health Service Executive)
  • Mr David Hanly – (Mr Hanly is also being appointed to Chair the Acute Hospitals Review Group)
  • Mr Michael Kelly – Secretary General, Department of Health and Children
  • Mr Dermot McCarthy – Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach
  • Mr David Doyle – Second Secretary General, Public Expenditure, Department of Finance
  • Mr Denis Doherty – Chairman, Health Boards Executive
  • Mr Seán Hurley – Chief Executive Officer, Southern Health Board
  • Mr Michael Dempsey – Managing Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Ms Maura McGrath – McGrath Associates, Management Consultant