Press Release

Minister Martin announces structure of Health Service Executive

The regional, local and national structures of the new Health Service Executive have been announced by Minister for Health and Children, Michéal Martin TD.  The new organisation becomes effective in January 2005.  Commenting, Minister Martin said that “today’s announcement was a further tangible step in progress toward the necessary structural reform of the health system”.

“I am very pleased to announce today that the Government has agreed four regional areas of the Health Service Executive; Western, Southern; Dublin/North-East, Dublin/Mid-Leinster.  They will be headquartered in Galway City; Cork City; Kells, Co Meath and Tullamore, Co Offaly.  These regional centres are not health boards, but rather units which will assist in the co-ordination of services delivered through the local health offices.  This structure will improve patient services and minimise disruption for staff working in existing locations, although functions, roles and responsibilities and lines of accountability may change.  There will be ongoing consultation with the Social Partners and staff representatives and no involuntary reduncancies”, Minister Martin added.

“The new legislations will also include arrangements for public representation in relation to the operation and development of health and social services.  The Foras will be established by the Minister for Health and Children, following consultation with the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.  Members will be nominated to the Fora by the City and County Councils in the area.  A primary rationale for this structure is to enable meaningful and sustained dialogue and consultation between the Health Service Executive and the public at local level, through the Regional fora”, said Minister Martin.

Commenting on the announcement, Chairman of the Interim Health Service Executive, Kevin Kelly said, “Ireland will have a single, unified health service with devolved and empowered decision making at local level.  This will deliver the most equitable and efficient management of the health system in order to achieve improved patient/client care, a better working environment for staff and enhanced value for money.  The national headquarters for the HSE will be based in Naas, Co Kildare, with an estimated staff complement of about 300.  It is intended that there will be an enhancement of the structures at local level which will enable the implementation of national policy at local level.  This will ensure that patients will have equity of service across the country”.

“The regional offices will be responsible for performance management, translating national policies through the local areas and gathering and relaying information on a regional basis.  Interaction with local communities and their elected public representatives will also be a key function,” said Kevin Kelly.

“Hospitals and local structures for primary, community and continuing care will report to the national directorates”, continued Kevin Kelly.  This model of service delivery will bring service decision making closer to the patient/client through the Local Health Offices.

Today’s announcement follows last week’s appointment of Professor Aidan Halligan as Chief Executive of the Health Service Executive, commencing Spring 2005.

The next steps will be publication of the legislation establishing the HSE and the appointment of the National Directors

  • Primary, Community and Continuing Care
  • National Hospitals Office
  • Population Health
  • Change Management and Organisational Development
  • Shared Services
  • Finance
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  • Human Resources