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Laura Magahy Sam Boal via
laura magahy

One of the top officials leading Sláintecare has quit

Laura Magahy was appointed executive director in July 2018.

LAST UPDATE | 8 Sep 2021

ONE OF THE top officials leading the government’s Sláintecare Reform Programme has resigned. 

Laura Magahy was appointed as executive director of the programme by government in July 2018.

She had previously headed up significant projects such as the €1 billion urban renewal of Temple Bar in the 1990s, and the €284 million development of the Mater in the early 2000s.

She has now stepped down from her role. 

Dr Tom Keane, who was appointed chairperson of the Sláintecare Advisory Council in 2018, is also leaving the programme as his term as chair is ending. 

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Health said the government thanked the pair for their work. 

“The government thanks Ms Laura Magahy for her commitment and dedication to implementing the Sláintecare programme of reform since her appointment in 2018,” the spokesperson said. 

“The government would like to also thank Dr Tom Keane, the outgoing chair of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council for his significant contribution to the Sláintecare Reform programme since his appointment to a three-year term as chairperson in 2018,” they said. 

The reform programme aimed to move Ireland’s health service from a two-tier system of both public and private care, to a single-tier system, offering universal access to healthcare.

The Department of Health said that over the past three years, “significant progress has been made in delivering this vision”, citing the introduction of a new GP contract, the establishment of the HSE board and an allocation of €1.235 billion for Sláintecare initiatives in the 2021 budget.

“This funding is increasing acute and community bed capacity, providing enhanced care in the community, including access to diagnostics, additional home supports, streamlining care pathways, and tackling waiting lists” the statement said.

It added: “As our health service emerges from the crisis presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government is more committed than ever before to implementing the Sláintecare programme of reform.

“It is essential that we build on the innovation we have witnessed in our health service over the past 18 months to improve health experiences and outcomes for the people of Ireland.”

Yesterday, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said he would be seeking funding to move towards universal healthcare, as envisioned in Sláintecare, in the forthcoming budget.

“I’ll be looking for funding for universal healthcare, for waiting lists, for the winter plan, for women’s healthcare, for public health, mental health” he told RTÉ.

Asked if he was looking to keep the €21 billion allocation from last year, he replied: “I’d love to hang on to as much of it as possible.”

He added: “What I want is a budget that funds the priorities, and the priority, the mission is universal healthcare.

“We have a completely unfair system in this country where a huge number of people can’t get access to care when they need it.

“Ultimately that’s the mission, universal healthcare. When you need healthcare you get access quickly to high quality healthcare.”

With reporting by Press Association

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