Dáil Éireann - Volume 442 - 18 May, 1994
Ceisteanna — Questions Written Answers. - Implementation of Fox Report Recommendations.
Mr. Callely Mr. Callely
36. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health the progress the hospital  efficiency review group has made in implementing the recommendations of the Fox report; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin) Brendan Howlin
Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): The hospital efficiency review group was chaired by Mr. Noel Fox. Having completed its report, commonly known as the Fox report, in November, 1990 the group was disbanded.
All of the operational recommendations have been addressed and are being implemented or have been implemented where practicable.
The fundamental thrust of the hospital efficiency review group's report was to seek greater co-ordination of hospital services, particularly in the Dublin area and to develop funding and planning mechanisms which would relate available resources more explicitly to performance measurement and output.
The Strategy for the Health Services which I have recently published has proposed a new organisational structure for the Dublin area which will provide for more coherent and integrated planning for all services, including hospital care, than has hitherto prevailed. In addition, there have been significant developments on funding mechanisms which are now more appropriately linked to the case mix experience of major acute hospitals.
Also, the strategy lays particular emphasis on establishing a new performance audit responsibility for the Department of Health which should allow for the agencies and the Department to agree on service priorities and objectives and measure the effectiveness of service delivery to the patient.
A value for money unit was established in my Department in 1991 which succeeded the cost containment unit set up in 1989. This unit has promoted a range of initiatives within the health services and, through collective action by health boards and hospitals, significant savings have been achieved and the scope for further economies has been developed. I am currently in the process of re-structuring this group to ensure increased co-ordination throughout the health services  and to focus on particular areas capable of yielding further efficiencies.
Dáil Éireann 442 Ceisteanna — Questions Written Answers. Implementation of Fox Report Recommendations.