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Action and resources must follow Sláintecare Implementation Strategy - Louise O'Reilly TD

8 August, 2018 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has cautiously welcomed the publication of the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy but, warned that it will only be successful if words are matched by action and resources.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy has been a long time in coming and it is important that there is now a plan on paper to implement the measures necessary for the reorientation and improvement of the health service for patients and healthcare workers.  

"It is worrying that while there has been a considerable delay in producing this implementation plan the Minister has not used this time to cost the measures in it.

“While a lot of what is in the strategy is the Minister relaunching previously launched initiatives, there are a number of significant proposals which have carried over from the Sláintecare Committee.

“In particular it is heartening to see the inclusion of a single Integrated Waiting List Management System to manage hospital waiting lists.

"Sinn Féin have been calling for this for many, many years and given a similar system has been proven to work in the RCSI Hospitals Group it is important that it is included in the implementation plan.

“Similarly, it is also welcomed that the plan acknowledges that we have a serious problem with chronic disease and the management of chronic disease in this State.

"Chronic disease accounts for 40% of hospital admissions and 75% of hospital bed days; therefore, with the right management of chronic disease in the community through resourced primary care and strategies aimed at more healthy living these figures can be substantially reduced for the betterment of all.

“However, the plan does throw up many questions which the Minister needs to answer. In relation to additional primary care centres, will these be fully publically owned centres or will the failed public-private partnership model be used.

“Additionally, the strategy does not go into any detail on addressing the problems identified by doctors, nurses, and others, which are causing the recruitment and retention crisis in the health service.

“While we welcome the delivery dates included in the strategy, we will be keeping a close eye on these as when it comes to timescales and delivery this government has consistently failed, not just in health, but in housing and other important areas.

“While I do welcome the publication of the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, it can only be successful with the desire to implement it through action and resources."

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