Press Release

Minister for Health announces the Establishment of an Implementation Group on Universal Health Insurance

Dr James Reilly TD, Minister for Health today (24th February 2012) announced the establishment of an Implementation Group on Universal Health Insurance.

The Implementation Group will play a pivotal role in supporting the Government to deliver on its commitment to introduce a single-tier health system supported by universal health insurance. It will be tasked with developing detailed implementation plans for universal health insurance and with actively driving implementation of various elements of the Government’s health reform programme.

Under the chairmanship of Fergal Lynch, Assistant Secretary, Department of Health, the Implementation Group will comprise a mix of those with executive responsibilities within our health service and external experts. In line with the pragmatic focus of the group, its membership also will be flexible and will be subject to periodic review as different stages in the implementation process are reached.

In announcing the membership, the Minister noted the experience and expertise which different members will bring to the Implementation Group. He said that the group was not intended to be representative of all stakeholders and that he was committed to consulting widely and taking on board the best advice available, nationally and internationally, as part of the reform implementation process. He also indicated that such consultation will form an important part of the Implementation Group’s brief.

The membership of the Implementation Group is as follows:

  • Dr. Fergal Lynch, Department of Health (Chair)
  • Paul Barron, Department of Health
  • Tom Heffernan, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
  • Liam Woods, National Director of Finance, HSE
  • Dr. Barry White, National Director for Clinical Strategy and Programmes, HSE
  • Brian Fitzgerald, Director of Finance, St. James’ Hospital and Joint Director of the HSE Patient Level Costing Project
  • Mark Moran, Former CEO of the Mater Private Hospital and former Chairman of the DoH/HSE Working Group on Reference Pricing and Generic Substitution
  • Prof. Reinhard Busse and Sarah Thomson, international experts working with the World Health Organisation, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and others
  • Dr. Fergus O’Ferrall, Lecturer in Health Policy, Trinity College Dublin
  • Dr. Martin Connor, Special Adviser to the Department of Health with international experience in healthcare management

The first meeting of the group will take place next week.