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The Committee is due to report to the Dáil on 23 January, but a spokesperson confirmed to the Medical Independent (MI) that “depending on the progress of the work, it may request an extension of time”.
The Committee was established last June to achieve cross-party consensus on a single long-term vision for healthcare and the direction of health policy in Ireland, and to make recommendations to the Dáil in that regard.
The Committee is currently involved in an extensive schedule of public hearings and is chaired by Social Democrat TD, Deputy Róisín Shortall.
“The public hearings haven’t finished yet. As the Committee is continuously reviewing all of the evidence it has received, no decision has been made yet on completion of public hearings,” the Committee’s spokesperson told MI.
MI asked if separate minority and majority reports would be published by Committee members, in the event of a failure to reach cross-party agreement on health policy direction.
“The intention is to seek political consensus on a 10-year strategy for reform, in line with the original motion agreed by the Dáil and to present an agreed report to the Dáil,” the Committee’s spokesperson said in reply.
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Deputy Billy Kelleher, told the recent IPHA Annual Conference that Minister for Health Simon Harris had informed him that legislation dealing with new Hospital Trusts was delayed because the Minister wanted to wait until the work of the Future of Healthcare Committee was complete.
MI asked the Department of Health if any other legislation is delayed awaiting the final report from the Committee but no response had been received by press time.