Latest: New 10-year plan for free GP and hospital care a ‘chance to take politics out of health’ - Harris

Latest: New 10-year plan for free GP and hospital care a ‘chance to take politics out of health’ - Harris

Update 11.20am: The Minister for Health, Simon Harris commended the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare as it published its final report today.

The Committee was tasked with devising cross-party agreement on a long term vision for healthcare and the direction of health policy over a 10-year period.

It has recommended investment to provide free GP and hospital services to all, reduce waiting lists to a maximum of 12 weeks and the phased elimination of private care from public hospitals.

Minister Harris said: “I firmly believe that this is the last chance of this generation to get this right and to take the politics out of health.

“This report is the culmination of a year-long process of unprecedented cross-party collaboration, dialogue and engagement. I am delighted that the report has reached political consensus and support.”

Earlier: The Government will launch a new 10-year plan for the country’s health system later.

It will explain how the HSE should be funded and will try to tackle hospital waiting lists.

According to the report, a €5.8 billion investment is needed in the health service.

Latest: New 10-year plan for free GP and hospital care a ‘chance to take politics out of health’ - Harris

Roisin Shortall (pictured) is the Chair of the Future of Healthcare Committee, which created the report.

The committee has recommended the investment to provide free GP services to all, reducing waiting lists to a maximum of 12 weeks and the phased elimination of private care from public hospitals.

"The first thing is we want to encourage people to access most of their care locally, in the community,” Ms Shortall said.

“We are calling the system Sláinte Care and are also proposing the launch of a new health card, called a Sláinte card.

“That card would give people an entitlement to access universal healthcare locally in their community, GP care and reduced cost medication.”


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