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Minister for Health confirms restructuring of health services and delivers key Sláintecare commitment

20190717 SixRegions

  • Six regional health bodies to deliver people-centred health and social care;
  • •Regional health bodies will have their own budget based on local population needs;
  • •Improved accountability and transparency

Health Minister Simon Harris has today announced a major step towards restructuring of our health services leading to the establishment of six new regional health areas.
The new regional health areas are in line with recommendations made in the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare Sláintecare Report (2017), that regional bodies should be responsible for the planning and delivery of integrated health and social care services.

The proposed six regional health areas are based on population data including how people currently access health services, as well as a public consultation.

Minister Harris said:

This is a key day for the delivery of Sláintecare and for the reform of our health service.

Today’s announcement identifies the six regions which will be used in developing structures for the delivery of integrated care.
This will result in clear financial and performance accountability, empower frontline staff and devolve authority from the HSE to the local regions.
These proposals will help shape the future of healthcare in this country and will give the staff, and more importantly, communities a greater role in the delivery of health.

Ms. Laura Magahy, Sláintecare Executive Director said:

I look forward to co-designing integrated health and social care services with the citizens and staff of the six regions.
This population-based approach will allow us to hear from the people in each region and ensure that a big emphasis is placed on preventing sickness, keeping people healthy in or near their own homes for as long as possible and ensuring that excellent hospital care is available in a timely way, where necessary.

The next step is to begin the co-design process. Stakeholders in each of the regional health areas will be invited to contribute to the design of the services for their new regions. Work will also now be undertaken to detail the national and regional organisational design which will be brought back to Government for approval within 12 months. Once established, these six regional bodies will be enabled to plan, fund, manage and deliver integrated care for people in their region. 

Minister Harris concluded:

This is only one of a number of decisions that need to be taken in relation to the future development of our health service structure. It is important that there is now clarity on the future regional areas and detailed work can start on designing the new regional bodies. I look forward to engaging with key stakeholders, including the public, patients and staff as part of this process.

Notes to the Editor
Map of the new regional health areas
Q&A document
Findings from the Public Consultation on Geographic Alignment of Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare Organisations report