Programme for Partnership Government 2016 sets up parliamentary committee to agree cross-party consensus on the future of the health services
The Programme for Partnership Government 2016 was published in May 2016 after two months of negotiations to form a minority government. Fine Gael who were in power from 2011 to March 2016 formed a government with the support of a group of independents.
The programme demonstrates a shift in policy from Universal Health Insurance (which was the priority to goal of the 2011 Programme for Government) to Universal Healthcare.
There are seven priorities identified:
- A Decisive shift of the Health Service to Primary Care with the delivery of enhanced Primary Care in every Community.
This commits to enhanced and more primary care, increased numbers of GP training places, increased numbers of primary care professionals, a new GP contract as well as greater integration of primary and secondary care, reducing the cost of medicines, expanding the role of community pharmacists as well as increased funding for homecare packages and home help;
- Guaranteeing the Future Sustainability of Rural Practice and in Disadvantaged Urban Areas;
- Creating a Healthy Ireland;
- Building Capacity for our Emergency and Acute Services;
- Improving Waiting Times for Hospital Procedures;
- Reforming HSE into a more Efficient, Transparent Health Service for Patients and Staff;
- Funding of the Health Service.
Under priority seven, the Programme for Government committed to establish a specific Oireachtas (parliamentary) Committee on the Future of Health Reform. This was established in July 2016 to ‘develop cross-party consensus on the future of the health service… recognising … the need to establish a universal single-tier service where patients are treated on the basis of health need rather than on ability to pay’.
Read the original story from The Health Systems and Policy Monitor.