€20m Sláintecare Integration Fund Launched For New Healthcare Models

The government has launched the €20m Sláintecare Integration Fund today, Friday 22 March, a scheme seeking to invest in new innovate health and social care practices.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Health Simon Harris have welcomed the launch and invited healthcare providers to pitch their ideas.

Applicants are required to demonstrate how their project can offer citizens the right care in the right place at the right time. New approaches to sickness prevention, hospital avoidance, and the delivery of care in the community are encouraged.

The Integration Fund will also focus on supporting the development of existing and new best practice projects that are capable of being scaled nationally, and which:

• Promote the engagement and empowerment of citizens in the care of their own health.

• Scale and share examples of best practice and processes for chronic disease management and care of older people.

• Encourage innovations in the shift of care to the community or provide hospital avoidance measures.

Welcoming the announcement, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "Sláintecare is our ten year cross party plan to significantly improve and modernise the health service. However, we certainly don't think we have a monopoly on good ideas, and we now want to hear directly from health and social care providers on how we can better provide care in the community.

"Through this €20m Integration Fund, we can put good ideas into action and share best practice to help care for people closer to home and keep them out of hospital."

Speaking as he launched the fund in Inchicore Primary Care Centre, Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD said: "Sláintecare will reform Ireland's health and social care service to create a modern, responsive service that offers the right care, in the right place, at the right time. Central to this is our goal to shift the majority of care from the acute to the community setting in order to bring care closer to home for service users.

"Today, we are asking those within the health and social care sector at large to pitch their ideas to help deliver this Sláintecare goal. Finding, supporting and scaling innovative new ways of providing care is fundamental to delivering Sláintecare.

"The Integration Fund is looking for initiatives that will support the delivery of integrated care and the shift to community care in innovative new ways, helping to reduce and prevent hospital visits. This will support us in meeting our ultimate goal of reducing waiting lists and reducing waiting times.

"The launch of the Integration Fund is an important milestone in the delivery of the 2019 Sláintecare Action Plan, which I published last week. With the entirety of the €20m Integration Fund earmarked to be spent in 2019, the first full year of Sláintecare implementation, it underlines the Government's commitment to ensuring the resources and tools are in place to deliver the Sláintecare vision. This €20m fund is in addition to the existing funding commitments made to support the implementation of Sláintecare via the 2019 estimates process."


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