20 July 2019
By Mary Bermingham
North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea has welcomed plans for a restructuring of the country’s health services, leading to the establishment of six new regional health areas, with one of the six areas to cover the counties of Cork and Kerry.
“The new regional health authorities will deliver people-centered health and social care; will have their own budget based on local population needs; and will result in improved accountability and transparency,” Cllr. O’Shea said.
This week, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, announced a major step towards restructuring of health services and the establishment of six new regional health authorities.
The new regional health areas are in line with recommendations made in the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare Sláintecare Report (2017), that regional authorities should be responsible for the planning and delivery of integrated health and social care services.
The proposed six regional health areas are based on population data including how people currently access health services, as well as a public consultation.
Welcoming the plans, Cllr. O’Shea added: “This announcement identifies the six regions, which include Cork and Kerry, which will be used in developing structures for the delivery of integrated care. This will result in clear financial and performance accountability, empower frontline staff and devolve authority from the HSE to the local regions.
“These proposals will help shape the future of healthcare in this country and will give the staff, and more importantly, communities, a greater role in the delivery of our health services.”
Once established, these six regional authorities will be enabled to plan, fund, manage and deliver integrated care for people in their region.
Minister Harris commented: “This is only one of a number of decisions that need to be taken in relation to the future development of our health service structure. It is important that there is now clarity on the future regional areas and detailed work can start on designing the new regional bodies. I look forward to engaging with key stakeholders, including the public, patients and staff as part of this process”.