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REOs to be members of Sláintecare Programme Board 

By David Lynch - 26th May 2024

REOs

The Regional Executive Officers (REOs), who have been appointed to lead the six new health regions, will join the Sláintecare Programme Board.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of the board in March.

Members noted that the terms of reference for board membership had been updated in order to include the REOs, according to minutes.

The Sláintecare Programme Board is co-chaired by the Secretary General of the Department of Health and HSE CEO, and reports to the Minister of Health.

 The membership also comprises the joint leads of reform projects from the Department of Health management board; HSE Centre senior leadership team; and representatives from the Department of An Taoiseach and Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health told the Medical Independent the new REOs “were not in attendance” at the March or April meetings of the board.

However, “it is envisaged that this will change as the transition to health regions gathers pace.”

“There are currently no plans for additional membership from the regions; however, officials may be in attendance where appropriate depending on the agenda.”

The spokesperson added that the board’s terms of reference are kept under review “to ensure optimum delivery of the reform programme”.

The board was established in 2021 to drive the principles of Sláintecare reform throughout the health and social care service.

Separately, the spokesperson added that the Sláintecare 2024: Universal Healthcare Action Plan is at an advanced stage of development. It is anticipated that it will be published soon following consideration by Government.

In addition, the Sláintecare End of Year Deliverables Report 2023 “will be published shortly”.

“This report will provide an update for year end 2023 on the status of each of the output deliverables set out in the Sláintecare Action Plan 2023.”

A final progress report on the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2023 was published by the Minister last month.

Meanwhile, planning for a Sláintecare annual conference is at a “very preliminary stage”, according to the spokesperson.

The annual conference will provide “a platform for stakeholder engagement”.

The spokesperson said these stakeholders would include policymakers, healthcare professionals, patient advocates, and researchers. The conference will allow people “to come together to discuss progress, challenges, and future directions for implementing Sláintecare reforms”.

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