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Waiting lists for individual consultants could soon be online

Health Minister Reilly has also announced plans for free GP care for children.

Image: Screengrab

HEALTH MINISTER JAMES Reilly has said that the Government plans to begin publishing individual consultants waiting lists, morbidity rates and mortality figures online.

Speaking at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties this evening Minister Reilly said that fairness is brought about through accountability and that, “if you don’t have transparency how can you expect to have accountability”.

The Minster accepted that plans to publish such figures along the lines of a league table would likely lead to individuals attempting to manipulate the figures but said that this did not constitute a reason not go ahead with the plans.

He said that appropriate monitoring systems would have to be put in place to stop this problem and that people have a right to know information about a doctor they are referred to.

In addition he said that,if an individual was referred to a particular consultant, they should have the right to know how long they expect to be waiting so that they can change their referral if they wish.

Universal Health Insurance

The plans were outlined as part of a promise to introduce new proposals for ‘Universal Health Insurance’ that will be introduced by 2016 and will replace the current system with “more efficient single tier model of healthcare”.

As part of this plan the Minister intends  to “introduce GP care without fees in the term of this Government”. He says that the children will be the first beneficiaries of this plan:

Our initial focus is on how we can give young children access to free GP care. I do not want any parent to be in a position where they have to decide between buying the groceries and bringing their child to the doctor.

Reilly said that the plans aim to introduce greater equality to the healthcare system and to make issues of variations in care between public and private hospitals “disappear”:

The current two-tier health service, which divides people between public and private, is completely alien to the principle of equality. A two tier system essentially means that some people get preferential treatment based on their financial resources rather than their medical needs.

The full text of Minister Reilly’s speech outlining his plans for the health service are available here.

Read: Agency contracts for junior doctors could cost €21 million this year >

Read: Reilly working towards ‘smoke-free’ Ireland by 2025 >

Read: New HSE management structure comes into force >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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