HSE budget to increase by €3.5bn for 2021

HSE budget to increase by €3.5bn for 2021

HSE Chief Paul Reid said: "The need to adapt our services urgently to the requirements imposed by the pandemic has led to some rapid changes. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

The HSE budget for 2021 will see an increase of €3.5bn bring the total budget to €20,623bn as the healthcare system continues to reckon with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around half of this increase (€1.68bn) will go towards Covid-19 spending while the remaining €1.8bn will go towards non-Covid care.

The National Service Plan for 2021 will include additional spending to improve services in the areas of cancer, maternity and mental health.

The plan provides for 16,000 additional staff including 1,100 medical and dental staff, more than 3,500 nurses and midwives and 4,000 health and social care professionals.

The funding for Covid-related spending includes PPE, the vaccination programme, testing and tracing and improving access to care.

HSE Chief Paul Reid said: "The need to adapt our services urgently to the requirements imposed by the pandemic has led to some rapid changes, such as a move to increasing the volume and variety of services provided in the community.

"In 2021, we hope to use the additional funding to reinforce and support this move, which is in line with the Sláintecare reform agenda."

€1.1bn of the additional investment for 2021 will be used to deliver permanent and enduring improvements in healthcare arising from the Sláintecare reform programme while €0.7bn will go towards covering the increased costs of providing existing levels of service.

Mr Reid said the past 12 months dealing with the pandemic has brought rapid changes in how healthcare is provided and the plan is to use the best of the changes and the increased investment to sustainably transform how healthcare is delivered in Ireland.

According to Ciarán Devane, Chairman of the HSE, Covid-19 still poses a risk to 'normal' healthcare activities and the plan demonstrates a marked move towards the delivery of care in the community or at home when possible.

The plan details programmes of work from improving patient safety and keeping the population healthy and well, to supporting people living at home with lifelong conditions.

Some of the details of the National Service Plan include:

  • €313m for enhanced community and social care services 
  • €87.5m for disability services and €23m for mental health services 
  • €12m for public health 
  • €78m improving access to care 
  • €50m introducing new drugs and €33m for eHealth 
  • €12m mental health and €15m disability services 
  • €450m for personal protective equipment (PPE) 
  • €200m (initial provisional sum) for the Covid-19 vaccination programme 
  • €445m for Testing & Tracing

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