Press Release

O’Malley launches PPARS Project to Develop Information Support Systems

Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today launched the 2004 conference for PPARS.  The PPARS (Personnel Payroll and Related Systems) is a project that sets out to develop information support systems that underpin the Human Resource management needs of the Irish Health sector. Staff costs are the largest cost heading in the health sector and as such need to be supported by modern robust and comprehensive computer systems.

PPARS is a project under the Health Boards Executive (HeBE) work programme led by a national project team, which is based in Sligo.

PPARS is a large and complex initiative and is the first national ICT related development incorporating the entire heath sector, supporting the Human Resource management requirements for a staff of almost 100,000 employees.

It involves implementing Ireland’s largest and most complex HR, Time Management and Payroll system against a backdrop of a health sector being reformed into a single organisation.

The project is a forerunner for a number of similar collaborative initiatives organised within our health services. The programme will provide the necessary support information to enable optimum use of highly skilled staff in the delivery of care to patients.

Speaking at the conference the Minister of State said, “The primary aims of this Government in relation to health were set out in the Health Strategy – Quality and Fairness.  The Government’s vision is to deliver a ‘world class health system’ for every citizen.  Modern health services extend beyond the traditional GP and hospital setting and go far beyond the curative services.  Provision of health services now embrace a much wider concept of attaining a level of health and wellness for each individual that will allow them to achieve the highest levels of fulfilment in life.

In common with public health services worldwide, our health system is experiencing unprecedented pressures which is driven by higher consumer expectation, developments in all areas of health technologies and the ageing profile of our population.

Meeting these challenges can only be achieved with a well-trained and highly motivated workforce and the approach to delivering on the HR requirements is set out in the Action Plan for People Management which was published in November 2002

PPARS is a fundamental tool that will enable HR managers to deliver on this Action Plan and on the HR agenda generally.”

Good information is the lifeblood of any industry and health services are probably one of the most information intensive sectors. Public expenditure on our health services will exceed €10 billion in the current year and the numbers of staff employed is now approaching 100,000.  These numbers are enormous, by any standards.

Our workforce is the primary and most essential importance of the health service.  They account for 70% of annual spend – that is €7 billion. A vast range of health services are provided by staff in a wide range of professional, administrative and support grades at a network of locations which span the entire country.

The further development of PPARS is a key recommendation of both the Brennan and Prospectus reports PPARS.  PPARS has already broken a significant proportion of the ground towards a more unified health services structure.  It will be a key enabler for the reform programme and is will greatly facilitate a smooth transition to the new structures.

The Minister of State acknowledged the efforts of all concerned who have brought PPARS forward including HEBE, the PPARS national office, The Department of Health and Children together with staff in local hospitals and health boards. He also commended the input and expertise of the external strategic partners in the programme, Deloitte, IBM and SAP.