Dáil Éireann - Volume 586 - 26 May, 2004

Written Answers - Health Reform Programme.

  77. Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for Health and Children the programme of work undertaken to date by the national steering committee to oversee the different strands of the health reform programme; when the composite plan the interim HSE is using will be made available to members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, as promised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15590/04]

  Mr. Martin:The national steering committee, NSC, was [777] established to oversee, monitor and steer the health reform programme. Chaired by Mr. Kevin Kelly, the executive chairman of the interim Health Service Executive, the committee is composed of key stakeholders from across the various strands of the reform programme.

The four inter-related strands of activity currently underway are: the change management programme being led by the interim Health Service Executive, which is planning for the move to a unitary system from 2005; the elements of the reform programme under the remit of the Department of Health and Children, which includes inter alia the restructuring of my Department and the establishment of HIQA; the work of the acute hospital review group, chaired by David Hanly; and the ongoing management of the health service and the preparations by the chief executive officers of the health boards for the change to a unitary system.

The initial meeting of the national steering committee was held in February and the second meeting is scheduled for Friday, 4 June. At its second meeting the committee will focus on the progress made to date under the four inter-related streams.

The new structure set out in this reform programme will provide a clear national focus on service delivery and executive management through reduced fragmentation and the creation of clear and unambiguous accountability throughout the system. Phase I of the implementation of the reform programme involved a widespread communications and consultation process and the establishment of thirteen action projects to think through and flesh out specific aspects of the programme. The action projects concluded, as planned, at the end of December. A composite document outlining the main findings has been prepared. It is my intention to have the composite report published shortly.