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Brian Lawless/PA Charlie McConalogue said ministers are committee to Slaintecare.
Health Service

Government still committed to Slaintecare, says Cabinet minister

The healthcare initiative has suffered several resignations in recent weeks.

THE GOVERNMENT REMAINS committed to Slaintecare, Agriculture Minister Charlie McConalogue has said.

Questions have been asked about the future of the beleaguered initiative aimed at introducing universal healthcare in Ireland after it was hit with a third high-profile resignation.

Gastroenterologist Professor Anthony O’Connor confirmed he had left the Slaintecare Implementation Advisory Council (SIAC) on Thursday, following in the footsteps of chairman Dr Tom Keane and executive director Laura Magahy.

In a post on Twitter, Prof O’Connor said he would not be commenting publicly on the reasons for his departure.

His resignation came a day after he, along with other members of SIAC, attended a meeting with HSE chief executive Paul Reid and secretary general at the department of health Robert Watt.

It is understood that Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is planning to create a new Slaintecare group that will advise the Department of Health on regional health areas.

The project’s implementation advisory council is expected to be discontinued in the coming weeks.

Minister McConalogue said today that the Government is fully behind the Slaintecare project.

“The Government is absolutely committed to Slaintecare and implementing universal healthcare,” he told RTE radio.

“Slaintecare is the roadmap for that.”

The Donegal TD added: “I know Minister Donnelly also will have further announcements post-Budget in how we move that forward and achieve that ambition, and obviously the objective of achieving universal single tier of health and social care system is central to that.”

Earlier, Liam Doran, a member of the Slaintecare Implementation Advisory Council, said he was disappointed by Donnelly’s decision.

“The council had asked for an extension of its term of office of for three months, in light of recent difficulties,” he said.

Asked for his reaction during an interview on RTE radio, he said he was “not surprised, but disappointed”.

He said he had not been asked to join any new Slaintecare body, but would always be happy to play a role in the project.

Press Association
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