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Minister for Health publishes Sláintecare mid-year Progress Report for 2021.

The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD has today published the latest Sláintecare mid-year Progress Report. The report details a total of 112 deliverables for the first 6 months of this year. Of those 112 deliverables, 109 are either on track or have been progressed.


The report details the progress made in the first six months of the year, against the priorities and actions detailed in the the 2021 – 2023 Strategy and Action Plan, and focuses on two reform programmes:

  •  Programme One: Improving Safe, Timely Access to Care and Promoting Health and Wellbeing, centres on integration, safety, prevention, shift of care to the right location, productivity, extra capacity and achieving Sláintecare waiting time targets.
  •  Programme Two: Addressing Health Inequalities, centres on addressing health inequalities towards universal healthcare.


Eleven Projects have been developed and are aligned with key national strategies, policies and initiatives:


  • The Elective Hospitals Preliminary Business Case was substantially progressed. The hospitals will be located in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
  • Implementation of the eHealth Programme has been substantially progressed.
  • The Sláintecare Integration Fund has piloted and tested services that deliver care in the community. This has resulted in hospital avoidance, reduction in ED attendance and reduced waiting lists in specialities such as Urology, Orthopaedics and Cardiology.
  • These projects are currently being evaluated for continued funding and mainstreaming, and 41 Sláintecare Integration Fund projects have been identified for mainstreaming and scaling across the health service primarily under the Enhanced Community Care Fund. Enhanced Community Care (ECC) is a key component of delivering Sláintecare and represents a shift of care from acute hospitals into the community and closer to people’s homes, in line with the Sláintecare vision of Right Care, Right Place, Right Time.
  • The Rollout of Community Healthcare Networks (CHN) and Community Intervention Teams is underway. CHNs support our aim of delivering more care in the community. These Networks will support people to live more independently in their community by coordinating and integrating services. 


Minister Donnelly said: “The vision of Sláintecare is to achieve a universal single-tier health and social care system, where everyone has equitable access to services based on need, and not ability to pay. Of the 112 deliverables detailed in the mid-year report, 109 are on track or being progressed.


“Given what our health service has faced in the last 18 months, this is remarkable progress and a fantastic testament to the hard work and dedication of staff right across the Department of Health, the HSE and all of the partner organisations who work together to deliver Sláintecare.


“As Minister for Health, my priorities now are to build on the success to date detailed in this report by implementing a detailed Waiting List Plan, progress work to build new Elective Hospitals around the country, scale and mainstream integration innovation and implement the eHealth Programme.”


The Sláintecare mid-year Progress Report for 2021 is available here.



  • Decision to fund Sláintecare to the levels envisaged in the Health Service Capacity Review (2018), including health and wellbeing, and enhanced community care.

Sláintecare has invested heavily in expanding services to be provided in the community, in terms of staff as well as via Primary Care Centres.  We have made significant additions to our permanent workforce and upgraded our infrastructure to enhance the capacity of our health services. 

  • Community Healthcare Networks funded to provide integrated services for people nearer to home.
  • Integrated Care Hubs for Older People and People with Chronic Diseases.
  • Establishment of the Patient Safety Office.
  • Elective hospitals Preliminary Business Case progressed and investment in Tallaght elective theatre.
  • Targeted waiting lists reduction initiatives.
  • Electronic transfer of prescriptions from GP to pharmacy.
  • Deployment of Individual Health Identifiers was accelerated during the pandemic as a method of ensuring unique electronic health records were created for all those being vaccinated. This was especially important for a national programme, such as the COVID-19 vaccination programme, where people were receiving their vaccination at various locations and from different healthcare professionals. Data collected to facilitate the assignment of IHIs to vaccination records, subsequently enabled the creation of Digital Covid Vaccination Certificates (DCCs) when travel restrictions were lifted on July 19th, with over 3.6 million DCCs issued to date.
  • Direct access to diagnostics for General Practice.
  • Increased entitlement to GP care and reduction in prescription charges.
  • GP contract agreement to support chronic disease management.
  • Increased homecare packages.
  • Establishment of joint GP Forum.
  • The Sláintecare Integration Fund projects are in more than 100 locations right across the country, with project partners from hospitals, hospital groups, Community Healthcare Organisations, community and voluntary organisations, Universities and Primary Care Centres. These projects are delivering the right care, in the right place, at the right time, and by the right team, with a focus on prevention, community care and integration of care across all health and social care settings. 41 Integration projects have already been mainstreamed, primarily through the Enhanced Community Care fund and that it is expected that more will be mainstreamed as part of the Budget 2022 process. 
  • Investment in Healthy Ireland and in public health promotion, including the Obesity Policy and Action Plan, the National Physical Activity Plan and the Sexual Health Strategy, and Alcohol and Smoking prevention
  • Significant Foundational Decisions made by Government, including the establishment of the HSE Board, and the approval of the geographies for six new regional health areas