Establishment of Committee on the Future of Healthcare: Motion

I move:

That, notwithstanding anything in Standing Orders, Seanad Éireann:


- the severe pressures on the Irish health service, the unacceptable waiting times that arise for public patients, and the poor outcomes relative to cost;

- the need for consensus at political level on the health service funding model based on population health needs;

- the need to establish a universal single-tier service where patients are treated on the basis of health need rather than on ability to pay;

- that to maintain health and well-being and build a better health service, we need to examine some of the operating assumptions on which health policy and health services are based;

- that the best health outcomes and value for money can be achieved by reorientating the model of care towards primary and community care where the majority of people’s health needs can be met locally; and

- the Oireachtas intention to develop and adopt a 10 year plan for health services, based on political consensus, that can deliver these changes,

orders that:

(a) a special all-group Committee, which shall be called the Committee on the Future of Healthcare, shall be established, to devise cross-group agreement on a single long-term vision for health care and direction of health policy in Ireland;

(b) the Committee may be joined with a Special Committee appointed by Dáil Éireann for the purposes of the functions set out in this Order;

(c) the Committee shall be made up of six members of the Seanad and four shall constitute a quorum; members may be substituted as provided under Standing Order 81(1);

(d) the Committee shall elect one of its members to be Chairman, who shall have one vote: provided that the Chairman shall be a Member of Dáil Éireann;

(e) the Committee shall have the powers defined in Standing Order 71 (other than paragraphs (3), (4) and (6) thereof);

(f) the Committee shall examine existing and forecast demand on health services, including the changing demographics in the Irish population;

(g) the Committee shall examine and recommend how to progress a changed model of healthcare that advocates the principles of prevention and early intervention, self-management and primary care services as well as integrated care;

(h) the Committee shall examine different funding models for the health service and make recommendations on the funding models that are best suited to Ireland and have these models fully costed;

(i) the Committee shall examine and make recommendations on how best to re-orientate the health service on a phased basis towards integrated, primary and community care, consistent with highest quality of patient safety, in as short a timeframe as possible;

(j) the Committee shall be mandated to hold hearings in public with expert witnesses; invite and accept written submissions; draw up a report(s); make findings; and/or suggest recommendations if the membership so agrees in unison or in majority/minority format;

(k) the Committee shall, within six months of the initial meeting, present a final report to the Ceann Comhairle and the Cathaoirleach for earliest possible discussion in both Houses; and

(l) the Committee shall meet as frequently as appropriate to fulfil its remit.

Question put and agreed to.