Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire, Mary Mitchell O’Connor has today, (Thursday) welcomed the launch of the 2015 HSE Service Plan by the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar TD & Minister for Primary and Social Care, Kathleen Lynch TD.
“After many years of significant reductions, there is a modest increase in funding in 2015. It will allow for Programme for Government commitments to be met including GP Care without fees for the oldest and youngest in society, the under 6s and over 70s, as well the extension of BreastCheck which I have supported for some time.
“I am also particularly pleased with the announcement of investment in a new Primary Care centre for Deansgrange which will be open to the public by the end of 2015.
“The Service Plan is based on maintaining the existing level of service plus some targeted improvements. It sets out how we intend to address the very important issue of delayed discharges, to which the Government has allocated €25 million. Addressing the delayed discharges will also help those trying to access the Fair Deal Scheme which has also been allocated an extra €10 million. Some €35 million has also been provided for mental health in 2015 bringing to €125 million the amount of funding prioritised for mental health since 2012.
“The Service Plan also outlines commitments to:
· Extend the pilot ultrasound access project to additional primary care sites on a prioritised basis.
· Pilot the provision of additional minor surgery services in agreed primary care settings.
· Extend the Stroke Clinical Programme to a national basis, with five hub hospitals providing telemedicine support to 17 other hospitals in this area.
· Increase opening hours of Acute Medical Assessment Units (AMAUs) to seven days per week in selected hospitals.
· Provide an additional €2m for ‘maternity services’ for more midwifes and consultants.
· Protect Local Drug Task Force funding.
· Extend the coverage of community intervention teams and improve access to primary diagnostics so patients go homes sooner;
· Introduce the Consultants Incentive scheme which will improve performance across the Balanced Scoreboard in acute hospitals by encouraging innovative cost saving proposals from clinicians.
“Budget 2015 provides for the delivery of health and social care services within the funding allocation of over €12 billion, plus €35 million for mental health services. This funding allocation includes an additional €625 million as part of the two year programme to increase health funding and is the first step in establishing a multi-annual funding approach which will see funding allocated for a two or three year period.”