Government still committed to Sláintecare, says Cabinet Minister

The healthcare initiative has suffered three resignations in the past few weeks
Government still committed to Sláintecare, says Cabinet Minister

By Dominic McGrath, PA

The Government remains committed to Sláintecare, a Cabinet Minister has insisted.

Questions have been asked about the future of the beleaguered initiative aimed at introducing universal healthcare in Ireland after it was hit with a third high-profile resignation.

Gastroenterologist Professor Anthony O’Connor confirmed he had left the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council (SIAC) on Thursday, following in the footsteps of chairman Dr Tom Keane and executive director Laura Magahy.

In a post on Twitter, Prof O’Connor said he would not be commenting publicly on the reasons for his departure.

His resignation came a day after he, along with other members of SIAC, attended a meeting with HSE chief executive Paul Reid and secretary general at the Department of Health Robert Watt.

It is understood that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is planning to create a new Sláintecare group that will advise the Department of Health on regional health areas.

Discontinued

The project’s implementation advisory council is expected to be discontinued in the coming weeks.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said on Sunday the Government is fully behind the Sláintecare project.

“The Government is absolutely committed to Sláintecare and implementing universal healthcare,” he told RTÉ radio.

“Sláintecare is the roadmap for that.”

The Donegal TD added: “I know Minister Donnelly also will have further announcements post-Budget in how we move that forward and achieve that ambition, and obviously the objective of achieving universal single tier of health and social care system is central to that.”

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