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In comparison, the entire work of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare, which drafted the Sláintecare report, cost just under €200,000, of which €188,921 was spent on consultancy, as previously reported by the Medical Independent (MI).
The cross party 10-year plan for the future of the healthcare system was launched in May and the Government is still working on its full response.
“The Department has hired McKinsey & Company to assist in designing a programme of reform and implementation structures as a response to the Sláintecare report,” a Department spokesperson told MI.
“The cost of the contract is just under €180,000 and the consultants are contracted for four months.”
When asked why it was necessary to employ an outside firm to do this work, a Department spokesperson said: “McKinsey & Company have vast experience in supporting organisations in the delivery of large scale programmes of transformation across sectors and also specifically in health systems across the globe.
“They are providing critical external expertise and assistance to the Department in the development of a programme of reform and in the design and set-up of implementation structures. ”
The spokesperson added that the Department’s response to Sláintecare will be published “following Government consideration and approval”.
Members of the Committee who drafted the Sláintecare report have raised concerns over the slow implementation process for the report’s recommendations, particularly the failure to establish the implementation office by July 2017 under the auspices of An Taoiseach.