O’Reilly criticises Government failure to establish Sláintecare Implementation Office
Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has criticised the Government for their failure to establish a Programme Implementation Office to implement the Future of Healthcare Report within the requisite time period.
Deputy O’Reilly said:
“The Future of Healthcare Report, which had cross-party consensus, stated that one of the immediate necessities was the establishment of a ‘…Programme Implementation Office under the auspices of An Taoiseach by July 2017, with the remit to oversee and enable the implementation of this report and develop a detailed implementation plan for the reform programme’.
“However, while the July deadline has passed, the implementation office has not been established. This is quite worrying given that a number of key implementation milestones of the report are dependent on the office being up and running by this stage.
“Added to this is concern over the Taoiseach’s lukewarm response to the report. At the time of the Fine Gael leadership election, I called on both candidates to commit to the full implementation of the report and noted worryingly that Mr Varadkar’s manifesto only made a commitment to consider the report and put forward a response to the Oireachtas.
“Similarly, the Minister for Health’s actions have not inspired much confidence either given that he has not provided a detailed response to the report as the Sláintecare report is clear that: ‘The Dáil should be briefed, with a debate on the progress of the report, by the Minister of Health every four months in the first year…’
“On the day the report was launched, I called on the Government to immediately start implementing the recommendations. However, despite Fine Gael supporting the report, they have fallen at the first hurdle in their failure to implement the first recommendation of the report. Therefore, I am again calling for the Government to immediately establish Sláintecare Implementation Office so we can move quickly towards the implementation of the recommendations of report.
“We cannot afford to dither and reanalyse something which has been the subject of a year’s work already, nor do we need a situation where we have a report on another report. What is needed is immediate action and implementation given the depth of work that has already been done.”