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No funding for HIQA to undertake additional projects

HIQA’s budget allocation for 2019 does not provide for additional projects, the Medical Independent (MI) can reveal.

The Authority was granted an allocation of €16,269,000 for 2019, which is the same allocation in 2018.

A spokesperson told MI the allocation was the amount sought by the Authority.

However, the spokesperson pointed out that additional funding would have enabled the expansion of the health technology assessment (HTA) function to inform a greater number of key national health policy decisions and health service investment decisions.

It would also have provided for the functions of diagnostic reference-level setting and population-dose estimation with regard to basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation.

The regulation for medical exposure to ionising radiation recently came under the responsibility of HIQA.

Additional funding is also necessary to provide for functions under the Patient Safety Bill, which will extend HIQA’s remit to private hospitals and provide for mandatory reporting of serious patient safety incidents, and allow for HIQA to register and inspect all children’s residential care services in the private and voluntary sector, as well as those run by the Child and Family Agency, when the relevant sections of the Health Act 2007 have commenced.

It would further enable HIQA to implement its digital and data transformation strategy.

The issue was discussed during HIQA’s board meeting in April. During the meeting, HIQA’s financial statements for 2018 were approved. The statements were recently published with HIQA’s Annual Report for 2018. According to the statements, HIQA had a surplus of €1.112 million at the end of 2018. This compares to a surplus of €931,708 for the same date in 2017.

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