Dáil Éireann - Volume 404 - 07 February, 1991

Written Answers. - Structures of Health Boards.

[2152] 39. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health if he will make a statement on the future and structures of the health boards.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): The administration and management of the health services are dealt with in the Programme for Economic and Social Progress. The following extract from the programme sets out the current position:

The Government will during 1991 announce proposals for improvements in the administration and management of the health services in order to ensure the most efficient and effective use of the available resources and to address the recognised problems in relation to the co-ordination of services in certain areas.

The Government's proposals will take account of the analysis and recommendations of the committees which have recently examined various aspects of this issue, including the Commission on Health Funding, the Dublin Hospital Initiative Group, the Hospital Efficiency Review Group and the Cabinet Sub-Committee and Advisory Expert Committee on Local Government Reorganisation.

The proposals will be guided by the following general principles:

... the Minister and Department should be responsible for the development of health policy and the control of expenditure but should not be involved in the detailed management of individual health services. A performance audit unit will be established in the Department of Health to assist the Minister in assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the health services;

greater responsibility for the management of health services will be devolved to the appropriate executive agencies, and

it should not be necessary to increase [2153] the total number of administrative staff employed in the health services.