Speaking this evening following the publication of the Sláintecare Action Plan 2019, Sinn Féin spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said the government’s commitment to the Sláintecare project hinges on hitting the key milestones laid down in the 2019 Action Plan.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Almost two years after the publication of the Sláintecare report and numerous missed deadlines we now have the release of the Sláintecare action plan for 2019.
“With that in mind it is my opinion that the seriousness of this government’s commitment to the Sláintecare project will be measured on whether they hit the key milestones laid down in the plan.
“There are many positives to the plan in particular the focus on disease and illness prevention and public health.
“In particular the commitment to expand capacity in General Practice and community nursing to manage chronic disease is hugely significant.
“So too is the stated commitment to working towards ensuring free timely access to healthcare over the course of the implementation of Sláintecare.
“Two things will be crucial in 2019; they are engagement with stakeholders and funding.
“Without getting staff and stakeholder commitment to the Sláintecare project and without proper funding then this project cannot succeed.
“It is up to the Minister for Health and Laura Magahy’s, the executive director of the Sláintecare health reform project, to ensure that staff and stakeholders are consulted and brought into the project, and it is up to the Minister for Finance to ensure that it is properly funded.
“Therefore, it is also important that the plan seeks to ensure the development of proposals for multi-annual budgeting in the healthcare system.
“It is unfortunate that the action plan does not focus more on how we can move away from private practice in public hospitals.
“This is a central tenth of Sláintecare and I would have hoped to have seen early moves in place as to how and when private care would be removed from public healthcare facilities, however, it will hopefully be forthcoming in 2020.
“The 2019 Action Plan is a start and it will be scrutinised by every politician in this State, but it is now up to Fine Gael to show they are committed to Sláintecare and meet the milestones laid down for 2019.”