Healthcare committee must enlist broad range of experts – O’ Reilly
Speaking today following the inaugural Meeting of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health Louise O’Reilly said that a secretariat of experts should be enlisted to assist with the committee’s work.
Deputy O’Reilly said:
“The political initiative to set up this committee and to work together in a collegial manner is welcome. But, as politicians, we need to accept that we are not experts on these issues and that we need to be informed and briefed on a regular basis. The Minister, and the Government, needs to ensure that this Committee is given the resources it needs to ensure its mandate and the vision is realised within the very restrictive time frame.
“While there will be a myriad of groups wishing to meet and present to the committee, it is important that the committee examine the possibility of a secretariat of experts, academics and researchers who may offer assistance to the committee. Replication must be avoided and we must draw upon what is there.”
“There is a mountain of work being conducted currently by experts in this area. Indeed, we in the Oireachtas are last to the table on this. The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland currently has an expert group developing recommendations for adult acute hospital care for the next care. Allied to that, a three-year Health Research Board research project is being undertaken in the School of Medicine in Trinity College under Health Policy and Management. This is only an example of two groups in this field which is focusing heavily on a long term healthcare plan.
“This committee is working to a very tight time frame, with a very important mandate. The magnitude of the work cannot be underestimated. We cannot afford to ignore the work and research that is being conducted externally. We do not operate in a silo. It is imperative that this committee immediately invites these bodies, researchers and experts to the committee and request that they share their research.”