HSE strategy ‘back to the future’

LABOUR has accused the HSE of “back to the future” tactics with plans to create more middle management jobs in up to nine regional health authorities.

It is expected that by Christmas the HSE will announce the creation of the regional authorities with new reporting structures in place for the country’s hospitals.

Larger hospitals will report to national directors while smaller hospitals will report to local health managers who will then be responsible to regional managers.

Plans to regionalise the service has led many to believe it is a costly return to the old health boards, which were abolished by the 2004 Health Act.

According to reports there will be three senior managers in the areas of planning, integrated care and clinical care reporting to HSE chief executive Brendan Drumm.

The existing posts of national director of population health and of the office of the chief executive will be abolished.

Labour health spokeswoman Jan O’Sullivan said: “This sounds like back to the future or maybe back to the past. I do not know why they are going back to the old system. I agree we do need to go away from the current micromanaging.

“However, I do not think it should go back to a regional basis. Rather it should be brought down to local level. Give the power to the unit that is dealing with the patient.”

She said the move seemed to be another way of creating “middle-management type jobs”. She said the HSE’s role should be one of setting standards and budgets, leaving the actual patient care to those on the ground.

Yesterday the HSE said no decisions had been made on the new structures and it would be Christmas before announcements will be made.


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