Tackle overcrowding in Emergency Departments
- Increase bed capacity and aim for four-hour target wait for Emergency Departments.
- Ensure there is an emergency medicine consultant present in EDs on a 24-hour basis.
- Improve access to diagnostics for Emergency Departments and GPs with a new minor capital grant fund of €50m.
- Remove recruitment embargo, target staffing allocations of additional consultants and nurses to critical areas in Emergency Departments.
- Commence the 2,600 additional hospital beds recommended under the Capacity Review.
- Significantly increase home care support hours to alleviate delayed discharges.
- Examine how the district hospital network can be utilised more to provide step down facilities.
Reduce waiting lists and waiting times
- Increase the National Treatment Purchase Fund to €200 million.
- Put the emphasis on reducing waiting times.
- Ensure that anyone waiting more than six months for a procedure will be able to apply to the National Treatment Purchase Fund.
Improve Management & budgetary accountability
- Put in place an Office for Budget Responsibility in the Department of Health to oversee health spending and ensure reliable forecasts.
- Implement the new regional structures proposed under Sláintecare.
- Implement Mandatory Open Disclosure.
- Enhance management practices to ensure accountability.
- Ensure medical profession cooperate with corporate governance policy.
Recruit extra consultants
- Negotiate a new contract with consultants.
- End pay inequality for post 2012 entrants.
- Recruit at least 800 extra consultants over five years.
Recruit more nurses
- Recruit 4,000 additional nursing staff over the next five years.
- Within this number we will ensure that GP’s practice nurse numbers are increased by 300 and public health nurses by 350.
- Implement the safe staffing framework in all hospitals.
- Target increased numbers to decrease the overreliance on agency staff.
Support General Practice in Rural and Urban areas
- Expand free GP care on the basis of means in line with Sláintecare’s goals and in alignment with an expansion in capacity.
- Implement the recently agreed changes to the GP contract and include provisions for its continuous assessment and improvement.
- Negotiate a new contract to underpin General Practice for the next 30 years to include issues such as Women’s Health Programmes, Out of Hours Services and Services to patients in Nursing Homes.
- Increase GP training places to 274.
- Protect rural GP practices by increasing the allowance to €30,000.
Increase home care supports
- Provide an additional five million hours of home care support.
- Implement a statutory homecare scheme.
- Deliver a ‘Carers Guarantee’ proposal that will provide a core basket of services to carers across the country regardless of where they live.
Support residential care and the Fair Deal
- Increase Fair Deal funding by €225m.
- Develop a national strategy for long-term residential care of our older people that includes current and future plans for the funding and financing of this care.
- Ensure that no Fair Deal resident is charged for services they do not use.
- Implement the proposed Fair Deal changes for farming families.
- Introduce an independent appeal process for nursing home providers under the Nursing Home Support Scheme.
Enhance dementia care
- Ensure that home support to be adaptable and responsive especially for conditions such as dementia.
- Put in place a further 15 dementia advisers so as ensure one in each Local Health Office area and a dementia key worker to coordinate care in each Community Health Organisation area.
- Examine the case for inclusion of dementia in the chronic disease framework.
- Enable anyone diagnosed with dementia to apply for home helps or home care packages, including intensive packages within allocated resources.
- Ensure new build Nursing Homes provide a Dementia Unit.
Strengthen the ambulance network
- Provide an additional 20 emergency ambulances and 200 extra staff.
- Maintain standards and target times to ensure all citizens across Ireland have a responsive and adequate ambulance service.
- Ensure the full retention of ambulance services provided by Dublin Fire Brigade across Dublin.
Protect key Helicopter Emergency Medical Services
- Enhance dental and oral health services
- Consult with the dental profession on how the new oral health policy can be improved and implemented.
- Work to address regional imbalances in the provision of dental staff.
- Replace and improve the 1985 Dentists Act.
Enhance Maternity Services
- Implement the National Women & Infants Health Programme.
- Recruit more obstetricians and midwives as part of our recruitment campaign of frontline healthcare workers.
- Support the re-location of the four stand-alone maternity hospitals in Dublin and Limerick to new hospitals on the campuses of adult teaching hospitals.
- Ensure that anomaly scans are available in all maternity hospitals to provide high quality maternity services.
- Financially Assist couples needing fertility treatment.
- Ensure that ownership and governance issues in the new Maternity Hospital on St Vincent’s site are open, transparent and state owned.
Enhance Neuro-rehabilitation services
- Establish a community neuro-rehabilitation teams in each of the nine CHO areas.
Protect Medical Card coverage
- Implement the Budget 2020 increase in the thresholds for the over 70’s.
- Ensure that those experiencing financial hardship due to very serious illnesses such as cancer will receive a discretionary medical card.
Reduce Health Costs
- Reduce the Drug Payment scheme threshold to €100.
- Reduce the Drugs Payment Scheme threshold for single households to €72.
- Abolish prescription charges on a phased basis.
Restore confidence in the Screening Services
- Implement the recommendations of the Scally Report and the RCOG reports.
- Introduce HPV primary screening.
- Make open disclosure a reality.
Support Cancer Care
- Fully implement the National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026.
- Increased investment in cancer research, including clinical trials;
- Provide a clear plan and timeline for the delivery of at least one Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Recruit more therapists
- Recruit an additional 800 therapy staff.
- Expand early intervention teams in schools within these resources.
Boost community pharmacists
- Negotiate a new contract with pharmacists and expand their role.
Invest in infrastructure
- Complete the National Children’s Hospital.
- Support the relocation of the Dublin maternity hospitals.
- Commence the construction of four new elective hospitals.
- Provide a minor capital programme for equipment provision and replacement.
Promoting public health
- Establish a new primary school healthy eating education programme to help cultivate lifelong good cooking and eating habits.
- Issue National Planning regulations to create “No Fry” zones for new Primary and secondary schools.
- Aim to make Ireland a tobacco free society Ireland on track for a 5 per cent rate by 2030.
- Introduce increases in excise duty on tobacco products.
- Ban vaping and e-cigarette products for U.18 and ban child focused flavours.
- Implement the Public Health (Alcohol) Act and introduce Minimum Unit Pricing in conjunction with Northern Ireland.
National Drugs Strategy
- Increase funding to drugs taskforces by €3 million annually over the next two years and then review the situation further.
- Undertake a major education campaign on the hazards of casual drug use for which we will allocate €3 million.
- Appoint representation at a senior level from the Department of the Taoiseach the National Oversight Committee (NOC) of the National Drugs Strategy.
NOTE: Measures on disability and mental health to be announced separately