1 DFómh 2020, 16.16

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health has agreed to prioritise mental health services, Sláintecare and public health policies implemented in response to Covid-19, in its Autumn work-plan.

The Committee of TDs and Senators confirmed, today, some of the issues set to dominate its Autumn work-programme following a meeting of members in Leinster House. 

The Committee agreed to examine the impact of Covid-19 on the delivery of patient health care in general including the effect the pandemic response has had on services including cancer screening and the delivery of acute care.  The Committee is also setting-up a special sub-committee to examine the growing mental health demands and the impact Covid 19 has had on individuals and services.

Chairman of the Joint Committee Seán Crowe T.D. stated after the meeting: “The Committee will focus on both the long-term development of health care and on the need to tackle healthcare delivery where waiting lists have been exacerbated due to the non-delivery of acute and non-acute care caused in part by the pandemic. In particular, the Committee will examine how the backlog for treatment in areas such as cancer, scoliosis and orthodontics is being tackled and rolled out to citizens.”

Deputy Crowe added: “The Committee also wants to examine the long-term vision of our health services and intends to have an early meeting on the  Sláintecare implementation plan. The other priority area will be the provision of mental health services where demand has increased significantly as a result of Covid-19 public health restrictions. We intend to establish a special sub-committee to examine and report back to the Health Committee within six months on the obvious challenges that we have seen emerging in the area of mental health.”

The Committee also agreed to seek an immediate update from the Minister for Health on the implementation of promised changes in eligibility for medical cards and on the extension of the long-term illness scheme.

The Committee intends to hold its first meeting in public on Wednesday in Leinster House at 11.30am.

Find out more about the Committee here

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Committee membership

Teachtaí

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Seán Crowe - Cathaoirleach

Sinn Féin

Green Party

Solidarity - People Before Profit

Fianna Fáil

Social Democrats

Seanadóirí

Independent

Fine Gael

Labour Party

Fine Gael