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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 25 Feb 2003

Vol. 562 No. 1

Written Answers - Health Service Audit.

James Breen


377 Mr. J. Breen asked the Minister for Health and Children the effect the restructuring of the health boards will have on Ennis General Hospital; and if it will remain as an acute medical and surgical hospital. [5315/03]

I assume that the Deputy is referring to recommendations which may emerge from the audit of structures and functions of the health system. As I have already outlined to the House, the report of the consultants has not yet been completed. The terms of reference included consideration of the structures and functions of both health boards-authority and other specialist, advisory, regulatory and executive agencies under my aegis. The terms of reference also require prospectus to make recommendations to improve corporate governance arrangements in the health system. The outcomes sought are to ensure that: the structures are the most appropriate and responsive to meet current and future needs; constitute an adequate framework for overall governance in the system; achieve effective integration of services; adequately represent the views of consumers; and focus sufficiently upon the principles of equity, accountability, quality and people-centredness and the national goals of the health strategy.

It is not possible at this stage to speculate on the recommendations and their potential impact, if any, on specific service delivery units whether they be acute, primary care, continuing care or other community services. However, given the terms of reference outlined above, I am confident that the recommendations will be in the interests of an improved system of service delivery, greater accountability, quality and value for money.