Fórsa has renewed its support for the Sláintecare reform programme following the release of the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, which details how the government intends to deliver reforms over a ten year period.
The union is in favour of the move towards a universally accessible single-tier health system, and an enhanced community care approach designed to take pressure off acute care facilities.
Head of Fórsa’s Health division Éamonn Donnelly said the publication of the strategy is a welcome development and an important step towards the implementation of the reforms recommended in the Sláintecare report. He said a recruitment drive will be required to fulfil the aims of the strategy.
“The recruitment of health and social care professionals, admin and support staff will be crucial to the successful implementation of reforms,” he said.
Éamonn also warned there are a number of issues which need to be addressed including realigning current teaching models with regional structures, reform of the GP service and contracts, and the role of private health insurance providers.
He said funding concerns, which were not addressed in the implementation strategy, and the issue of private practice in public hospitals are also stumbling blocks.
Éamonn added that the Minister for health Simon Harris wrote to Fórsa seeking support for the reform strategy and the work of the Sláintecare Program Office, and also called on other stakeholders in the Irish healthcare system to get behind the strategy.