HSE Publishes 2017 National Service Plan

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has published its 2017 National Service Plan, following approval by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris.

The plan details the delivery of health services that the HSE will provide directly, and through a range of funded agencies, in 2017.

It provides a total funding level of €13,912m for the delivery of health and social care services, representing an overall increase of €458.6m(3.4%) compared to 2016. This includes €36.5m to fund new service developments.

The Plan sets out the type and volume of health and personal social services to be provided in 2017, within the funding available. It also recognises that underpinning all of these actions is the goal of improving the health and wellbeing of the population and of ensuring that the services delivered are safe and of high quality.

Separately, a provision of €439m is available in capital funding in 2017, comprising €384m for building, equipping and furnishing of health facilities, with a further €55m for ICT.

Speaking at the launch of the Service Plan today, Mr Tony O’Brien, HSE Director General noted: "The health service continues to deliver its services in an environment where the population is growing, the number of people seeking to access services is higher than ever before and where public expectations for quality services continue to increase. There will be an ongoing and significant management challenge to balance demands and needs within the funding available to the HSE."

Welcoming the publication of the plan, Minister for Health, Simon Harris said: "Today's Service Plan is based on an increased budget of almost €1 billion since last year bringing the total health budget to over €14 billion. This provides us with an opportunity to improve services for our patients and for the Irish public who have made it clear they want to see investment in public services.

"The National Service Plan will deliver on some of my key priorities in 2017. I have provided €20 million to the NTPF to work with the HSE to drive down waiting lists and this will increase to €55 million in 2018. The focus of this will be on reducing the length of time people are waiting for treatment. The €40 million provided for the Winter Initiative in 2016 will continue in 2017 to implement measures to address overcrowding in our emergency departments.

"I am very conscious of the people who are on trolleys in our hospitals today, especially older people, and of the pressures and stress on staff working in this environment. We have to continue our focussed efforts to address the specific problems that arise in winter but we also have to tackle the bigger issues like staffing both in the long term and with immediate, practical measures now.

"I welcome the announcement today by the HSE of an open recruitment event on the 28th, 29th and 30th of this month for nurses and midwives from all disciplines who are interested in working in the Irish health service. This will target nurses coming home for Christmas and allow walk-in interviews on the day. This will be the first in a series of career day events for nurses throughout 2017.

"The Service Plan is aimed at ensuring we deliver a high quality health service in 2017 for all our citizens, both young and old. Today's health service faces many challenges, not least those of a growing population and an ageing population. The HSE, with support from my Department, will work hard to meet those challenges and deliver on the promise of a high quality service, accessible to all."


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