Press Release

Minister O´Malley addresses the Conference on Rehabilitation Services in Ireland – The Way Forward

Mr Tim O´Malley T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children today (22 October 2002), addressed, in the Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny, the conference on ´Rehabilitation Services in Ireland – The Way Forward´.

This conference aims to inform senior health care professionals in Ireland as they devise a Rehabilitation Strategy and prepare for the development of the provision of comprehensive and integrated rehabilitation services throughout the country; to map services and review key gaps and service shortfalls; and to identify future services needs, trends and forecasts.

A range of international speakers who have published work on Rehabilitation Service Development attended the Conference.

Minister O´Malley said in his address that he viewed the conference as being an extremely important platform to debate and explore the issues around medical rehabilitation services and to identify key service areas for development and inclusion in the action plan. The Minister also highlighted his Department´s commitment to the area of rehabilitation for older people. He pointed out the substantial increase over recent years in the number of specialist consultant geriatrician appointments.

The Minister speaking in Kilkenny said “Rehabilitation is a complex area with much scope for development. As a result, it is crucial that we all work together with the aim of achieving as comprehensive a plan as possible and one that targets the areas most in need of development.”

The Minister asked those present to consider “what actions need be to identified in the plan, who is best placed to carry out those actions and what timeframe they might be achievable in. It is very important that the action plan that is developed sets down realistic achievable targets. I would also ask you to be imaginative in your approach in looking at how to develop the services. We should be conscious of our own uniqueness, of the demographics and changing face of Ireland while at the same time seeing how we can build on what we already have and know. We should be cognisant of the changing face of health care and that other element of the vision of future health care in Ireland – ´A health system that supports and empowers you, your family and community to achieve your full health potential´. I ask you to explore that vision when considering the future of medical rehabilitation in Ireland.”