Government reveals 25 'health priorities'

Government reveals 25 'health priorities'

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has promised to reduce waiting times for inpatients and day case treatment to 15 months by year end.

Minister Varadkar has set out the Government's health priorities for the year and said that by mid-year, waiting times for procedures will be no longer than 18 months.

That figure is to be reduced by a further three months by December.

He has also pledged to reduce the number of patients waiting on trolleys in Emergency Departments for over nine hours by one third to less than 70.

"These priorities provide a clear direction for the development of health services and policy in 2015,” Minister Varadkar said.

"The 25 priorities include new legislation to reduce alcohol consumption, proposals to extend the remit of HIQA, extending the range of services available in primary care, moves to increase the number of people with health insurance, the first national survey of Ireland's health in eight years and an ambitious target to cut the number of delayed discharges by one third to 500 and take pressure off overcrowded Emergency Departments and hospitals."

Minister for Primary Care, Social Care & Mental Health Kathleen Lynch said: "I am satisfied that this list of 25 health priorities provides us with a targeted plan against which we can measure progress.

"Health is a complex interrelated sector which requires us to take an integrated approach to planning.

"We cannot plan in one area without taking account of the knock on effect in another. With this in mind it is particularly important that priorities in the areas of mental health, services for older people and disability services have been included in the list.

"I look forward to working with Minister Varadkar and the officials in the Department of Health over the coming twelve months in implementing the priorities as set out in the list."

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