The report of the cross-party Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare, Sláintecare, identifies four core building blocks that underpin a well-functioning health system. The first of these building blocks is a clear governance and accountability framework. In that respect, I was pleased to meet the new HSE Board last week prior to their inaugural meeting, who will assist in improving oversight and governance of our health service
In addition to this, the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy commits to the development of regional care organisations that will enable the delivery of integrated care at a local level. As a first step in this process, it is necessary to align the CHOs and Hospital Groups geographically. My Department undertook a public consultation on this matter in 2018 and has engaged in significant internal analysis on the optimal size and number of future regional areas. I hope to bring proposals on geographical alignment to Government very shortly.
The development of regional care organisations is a critical enabler of the Sláintecare reform programme. These organisations will be designed to facilitate the efficient and effective delivery of services as outlined in the Sláintecare programme, which focuses on how and where services are delivered to provide a more integrated and person-centred service and on improving financial control, governance, accountability, and performance across the health service. This will ultimately allow us to develop a more population-based approach to service planning and care delivery, with the aim,over time, for greater equity in the allocation of resources within and across regions.