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HSE Board chairman steps down as changes to HSE governance approved

The governance will be replaced by a seven-person directorate. The government said it is committed to radical reform of the health services which will see the introduction of Universal Health Insurance.

File photo of Dr Frank Dolphin with Dr James Reilly
File photo of Dr Frank Dolphin with Dr James Reilly
Image: Mark Stedman/ Photocall Ireland

THE CABINET HAS given its approval for the drafting of legislation for new Health Service Executive (HSE) governance.

The new legislation will replace the current Board/Chief Executive with a seven-person Directorate.

The government said it is “committed to radical reform of the health services which will see the introduction of Universal Health Insurance”, and that putting a new Directorate at the helm of the HSE is a key component in this.

The changes:

  • Purchaser of Services – Provider of Services

A division will be created between the parts of the HSE charged with purchasing health/social services and those charged with providing the health/social services.

This will allow the implementation of a full ‘Money Follows the Patient’ system where providers are paid on the basis of services delivered.

  • Seven Directors

The following areas will come under a directorship: hospital care, primary care, mental health, children and family services, social care, public health and corporate/shared services.

Seven people will be appointed as directors and one of them will be appointed as the Director General. The Minister for Health will determine the functions of the directors.

The Minister will bring forward detailed proposals at a later date for the re-organisation of the HSE.

  • Clarity, accountability

The purpose of this new Directorate team will be run the health services as they exist and to prepare for the transformation needed in the move to Universal Health Insurance.

The HSE says the clear identification of the seven directorates or seven service lines will provide “considerable clarity related to the delivery of the relevant services”, and greater financial transparency and accountability in assessing those services.

  • Priority Legislation

A White Paper setting out how UHI will be implemented will be published before the end of 2012 and the Primary Care Fund will be established as a matter of priority.

This will support roll-out of free GP care beginning in 2012, while the Integrated Care Agency and the Hospital Care Purchase Agency will also be established during 2012.

Dr Frank Dolphin announced today that he is stepping down as the Chairman of the Interim Board of the HSE.

The Minister for Health Dr James Reilly expressed his gratitude to Dr Dolphin and said that he has been a key figure in the transformation process involving the HSE to date.

Mr Michael Scanlan, the Secretary General of the Department of Health, is to replace Dr Dolphin as Chairman of the Interim Board.

Read: Minister for Health warns of significant health service cuts>

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