Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Mental Health James Browne TD has said it is very worrying that over two years after the publication the Minister for Health is still “evaluating the costs” in the Sláintecare report.  

Deputy Browne commented, “It has been over two years since the Sláintecare report was published and the Department of Health cannot tell us if they agree with the projected costings within the report.

“I was on the All-Party Committee on the Future of Healthcare which published the report. An implementation strategy was published last August, and in March of this year a 2019 Action Plan was brought out, yet the Minister still cannot state if he considers that the costings in the report are accurate.

“The implementation of Sláintecare is already behind schedule but it is difficult to comprehend how the Minister can implement a strategy without the costings of the report being evaluated. An evaluation of costs is a basic element of any implementation strategy. Without such an evaluation, any implementation strategy is built on hope rather than on good planning and we have already seen the consequences of poor cost evaluation with national children’s’ hospital.

“Furthermore, the Cabinet Committee (E) Health last met on November 22nd with no apparent date set for their next meeting. Given the turmoil in Health over the previous number of months, and the importance of the implementation of Sláintecare it is inexplicable that this Cabinet Committee has not met for almost 5 months.

“I’m very concerned that the Minister will use his failure to evaluate the costings to backslide further on the implementation of the strategy, and in the absence of the Cabinet Committee (E) Health meeting, there is no oversight of the Minister’s implementation strategy,” concluded Deputy Browne.