Some 7,000 new community-based healthcare staff are to be hired under a new Sláintecare implementation strategy and action plan, which covers the next three years. The plan, which envisages the creation of 31 new primary care centres, also promises the development of proposals for achieving universal eligibility.
Health minister Stephen Donnelly said the plan sets out the priorities and actions for the next phase of the health reform programme. He said its aim was to deliver “a universal health service that offers the right care, in the right place, at the right time, at low or no cost.”
The strategy has been developed in light of the Covid-19 experience, the programme for government, and engagement with stakeholders.
It states that, over the next three years, Sláintecare will implement a number of objectives, including existing plans to create six new regional health areas, and establish 96 new community healthcare networks to support integrated care across primary, community and acute care.
It also includes provision for a digital ‘shared care record’ to give access to people’s health records no matter where they are being treated.
Fórsa’s head of health and welfare Éamonn Donnelly said the publication of the implementation plan indicated a political will to follow through on the accessible health service envisioned in Sláintecare.
“A service that isn’t based on the ability to pay, and which enshrines entitlement to healthcare as a basic right. Our union won’t be found wanting in convincing the political system of the pivotal role which the broad range of grades and professions represented by Fórsa must play in the new healthcare model.
“We will also be assertive in protecting members’ interests. The development of a new healthcare model and career development within that model are clearly not mutually exclusive,” he said.
The Government has also committed an additional investment of €1.23 billion in Sláintecare initiatives, in order to build additional capacity in acute hospitals, community and social care, alongside the rollout of the enhanced community care programme and the promotion of healthy living.
The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy & Action Plan is available to download HERE.
It’s never been more important – or easier – to get the protections and benefits of union membership. Join Fórsa HERE or contact us HERE.