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Over €150k for Healthcare Committee support work

It is tasked with developing cross-party consensus on a 10-year strategy for health and social care policy in Ireland.

The Committee has engaged a team of health academics from the Centre for Health Policy and Management in Trinity College Dublin, holding three workshops with them in late November and early December to further explore the issues. The Medical Independent (MI) has been informed that the Committee has not received an invoice for this work yet but total budgeted costs for this phase are €24,700.

“The Committee has a further budget of €130,000 plus VAT to cover all aspects of consultancy support, drafting and completion of the report,” a Committee spokesperson told MI.

“As you can understand, the Committee is currently in the course of drafting and completing its report, so details on expenditure are not readily available. However, details on expenditure and allocation of budget will be available when the Committee has completed its work.”

The completion date for the final report is now 28 April, having been extended from January. A spokesperson for the Committee did not rule out the possibility that a further extension could be requested but told MI that “all indications are that Committee members all want to achieve this target”.

“There is no provision for a minority report in the Committee’s terms of reference,” the spokesperson added.

Mr Tony O’Brien, HSE Director General, said at the recent 13th National Health Summit in Croke Park that he regarded “the establishment of the Committee as the single most important policy development in the history of the Irish healthcare system”.

In an interview with MI, Chairperson of the Committee Deputy Róisín Shortall (Social Democrats) said she was confident that agreement could be reached on a long-term, cross-party vision for health policy.

See feature, pages 14-17

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