Friday, November 16, 2012

Doherty & Buttimer welcome radical reform document for the health sector

Patients to be placed at the centre of decision making, ensuring faster, fairer service delivery

Fine Gael Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Jerry Buttimer TD, and the Party’s Internal Health Committee Chair, Regina Doherty TD, have welcomed the publication today (Thursday) of the radical healthcare reform document by the Department of Health.

The document, entitled Future Health: A Strategic Framework for Reform of the Health Service 2012-2015, sets out the roadmap for the overhaul of our healthcare services so that value for money and appropriate service delivery can be achieved.

Speaking following the launch Deputy Doherty said: ‘As the document states, the healthcare system in this country is currently unfair to patients, does not deliver value for money and is in dire need of reform. We are facing major challenges in terms of dealing with the budget deficit, getting the trolley numbers completely under control and dealing with increased activity, year on year. All of this in the context of Ireland having an ageing population’.

“However, this document charts the way forward by outlining the steps to be taken on the basis of the best possible evidence. A full collaborative approach is to be taken which will make full use of the Regional Health Forums who will consult with the relevant stakeholders to ensure best service delivery. The patient will be front and centre in the reform process which will seek to have patients treated at the lowest level of complexity that is safe, timely and that is delivered as close to home as possible.

Deputy Buttimer said: ‘The radical reform agenda being carried out by Minister Reilly will not happen overnight. This Government was handed a health service that was creaking at the seams and which had money thrown at it as the solution to all its problems. The Irish people, quite frankly, deserve better’.

“It is the Government’s intention to create a single-tier health service which is supported by Universal Health Insurance and where no distinction between public and private patients exists. Outcomes for patients will be improved, free access to GPs will be available, as is the case in other countries, and there will be better management of chronic illnesses.

“We have no choice but to do more with less, but that aside, it is high time we had a healthcare system that worked for, instead of against, us. Healthcare staff, consultants and, most of all, the patient, who should always have been at the heart of the system, deserve it. I have no doubt that this intention can and will become a reality under Dr. James Reilly TD.”

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