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Ministers for Health announce biggest investment in Ireland’s Health and Social Care Services in history of the state

  • Record €23.4billion investment – the highest heath allocation in the history of the state
  • Overall €443m fund (including €225m of once-off additional funding for 2023) to continue to reduce waiting lists and facilitate access to care
  • New Critical care beds in Cork and Sligo University Hospitals and new acute beds in Mater
  • Drug Payment Scheme threshold to be maintained at €80 per month
  • Operational readiness for the new National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park Dublin
  • Continuing the rollout of National Strategies and Services 

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, Minister of State with Responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, have announced the single largest investment in the Irish Health and Social Care Services in history in Budget 2023.

This €23.4billion investment follows record investment in the health service in 2021 and 2022. These investments have ensured the continued implementation of Sláintecare by delivering a range of capacity and reform measures ensuring that the quality of services continues to be enhanced, maintaining focus on patient safety and improving access and affordability of healthcare to deliver the best patient outcomes.

Minister Donnelly said:

“This is the third health budget in a row to significantly increase investment in our health and social care services. Since 2020, we have delivered approximately 2,000 acute, critical care and community beds to date, with a further 400 due to come on stream before the end of 2022.   Approximately 250 further beds will be delivered in 2023. 

“Our health workforce is continuing to grow at a rapid pace with the workforce expected to hit 137,000 by the end of this year. Budget 2023 sees funding for a further expansion of up to 6,000 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) in 2023 to continue this Government’s significant investment in the Irish healthcare system.

“This investment will also continue the roll-out of National Strategies and Services including in the areas of cancer, maternity, critical care, dementia, trauma, National Ambulance Service, cardiac, gynaecology and oral health as well as the Women’s Health Action Plan.”

Minister Butler said:

“Budget 2023 maintains a focus on vulnerable groups and including additional supports for Traveller mental health services and the expansion of Peer support and Recovery services and the roll-out of more digital mental health supports. I have secured €14million for New Mental Health Developments including Traveller Mental Health; online CBT; Crisis Resolution Services; and enhanced services in the areas of recovery, employment and tenancy supports for those with mental health difficulties. 

"I have also secured €4million for roll-out of a new national safeguarding policy for the health and social care sector, and expanded HSE safeguarding operations will be supported through education, training and research.”  Minister Feighan said: “I am delighted to announce funding in excess of €20m for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy in Budget 2023. This includes additional supports to be made available from a once-off fund to organisations to assist in the context of the significant challenges which they are facing currently."Funding will support core Healthy Ireland initiatives like the Sláintecare Healthy Communities programme that provide community support projects on parenting, nutrition, Making Every Contact Count, and QUIT smoking. I have also secured €3million to increase and improve access to healthcare services for Travellers, people who are homeless and refugees. 

"Under the National Drug Strategy, I also secured €3.5m in additional supports for community and voluntary organisations providing drug, alcohol and inclusion services and €4m to expand community and residential services.”

Minister Rabbitte said:

“In Budget 2023, I have secured €109 million to support Existing Levels of Service (ELS). This investment ensures the continuation of essential core services including residential and emergency residential care, respite, as well as facilitating the move of younger people away from nursing homes to more suitable residential locations Investment in new developments will total €29.3 million." 

Funding of €69.2m is being allocated to Women’s Health across Budget 2023. This investment will fund a range of measures across several areas including:

  • Almost €1 million to fund additional Women’s Health Hubs 
  • €3.8 million for screening services including BreastCheck, Cervical Check and the National Cervical Screening Laboratory 
  • €11.5 million for the National Gynaecology Strategy
  • Other initiatives include Bioethics, National Maternity Hospital operational readiness, reducing the VAT on HRT and measures to address period poverty