This seminar provided a timely opportunity to examine the future priorities for healthcare in Ireland following the General Election and formation of the Partnership Government, and assessed current pressures facing the health service - including issues relating to waiting lists and rising costs.
The conference followed the publication of the Programme for a Partnership Government, and brought out latest thinking on the key priorities it outlines for healthcare reform in Ireland in the coming years - including the target to reduce the percentage of people waiting longer than six hours in emergency departments from 32% currently to less than 7% by 2021.
Delegates considered the challenges to the implementation of this new Programme for Government, especially in terms of health infrastructure, capacity and tackling waiting lists through the proposed establishment of a Health Commission overtime to replace the Health Service Executive (HSE), and the commitment to give individual Health Trusts greater autonomy and accountability.
Further consideration was given to the proposals to deliver more effective care outside of hospital - including commitments in primary and community care to build GP capacity to respond to patients’ needs, and increasing funding for homecare packages - and the role that innovation and technology can take in making the health service more efficient.
Those that attended included key policymakers, as well as stakeholders from the public and private healthcare sectors, patient groups, nursing homes and home care providers, charities, local authorities, academics and commentators, and others with an interest in the important issues discussed.