Future of Healthcare Policy Forum – Full programme

The Health Reform Alliance’s ‘Future of Healthcare – Policy Forum’ will take place on Thursday, 29th June from 10am to 12.30pm in the Woodquay Venue, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.

You can sign up to attend here and if you have any questions about the event or the Health Reform Alliance, please contact info@healthreformalliance.ie.

The day will focus on the Sláintecare report, how our speakers see it working in practice, how it will be implemented and if it will lead to a more equal health and social care system that ensures different aspects of the system work together, ensures significantly expanded entitlements, and whether it will help meet our five principles for reform.

Registration will begin at 10am with light refreshments, and proceedings will commence at 10.30am sharp.

Following a short welcome from the Health Reform Alliance, compère for the day, Susan Mitchell, journalist and Health Editor at the Sunday Business Post will kick off proceedings, with introductory remarks and some reflections on past failures of our health system from her perspective as a journalist, and her thoughts around implementation of the report.

Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare will deliver the keynote address, which will include commentary on her time chairing the Committee and what is needed from various stakeholders to help progress the Sláintecare report.

Dr. Ronan Fawsitt, a full-time GP and Chair of the Carlow-Kilkenny ICGP-St Luke’s Hospital Local Integrated Care Committee (LICC), will speak about his experience developing the Carlow/Kilkenny model of integrated care and will examine whether the report will ensure the different elements of the health and social care system work together in a more integrated way.

Dr. Anthony Staines, a professor of Health Systems at Dublin City University, who also currently chairs the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, will discuss implementation of the report and the intersection of policy and politics.

This will all be followed by a panel discussion, which will incorporate a questions and answers session from the floor.

Speakers’ biographies:


Róisín Shortall has been a TD for Dublin North-West since 1992. She is the co-leader of the Social Democrats. Róisín previously served as Junior Minister with Responsibility for Primary Care. She was the chair of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare which was tasked with developing a cross-party consensus on a ten year strategy for delivering a universal single tier health service for Ireland. This was published on 30th May as the Sláinecare report.



Susan Mitchell is a journalist and is currently the Health Editor at the Sunday Business Post.
Susan has won numerous awards for her coverage of Ireland’s healthcare system, including the 2016 NewsBrands Ireland Feature Writer of the Year. Her work includes in-depth reports on the HSE from the frontline to the boardroom, and her stories have led to several national policy changes.
Susan holds a BA from UCD and a postgraduate diploma in business studies from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.



Dr. Ronan Fawsitt is a full-time GP Partner in a large mixed urban-rural practice based in Kilkenny City.
He is Chairman of the Kilkenny Faculty Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) and of the Carlow-Kilkenny ICGP-St Luke’s Hospital Local Integrated Care Committee (LICC). He is also Chair of the GP Advisory Group for the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) and serves as Primary Care Lead on the IEHG Executive Management Team. In 2016, he won the first national GP Buddy General Practitioner of the Year Award.
Dr. Fawsitt has been involved in an ongoing collaboration with partners in St. Luke’s Hospital to develop an integrated care model in Carlow/Kilkenny which allows clinicians and management to work together in a formal structure, known as a Local Integrated Care Committee. This liaison structure engages all local parties in the doctor patient process including GPs, Consultants, Public Health doctors, hospital and community management and pharmacists, in order to provide better care pathways for patients into and out of hospital and to facilitate more care in the community in an agreed and resourced manner.



Dr. Anthony Staines is a professor of Health Systems at Dublin City University, and also currently chairs the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.
Anthony began his career as a neonatal paediatrician, before moving into public health and academic epidemiology, receiving an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School and PhD in Spatial Epidemiology at the University of Leeds.
Anthony has undertaken research on child public health, health information systems, the social costs of illness, blood transfusion policy and the financing of primary care systems.
Anthony has been a strong advocate for a fairer, more sustainable health service and ran as an independent candidate for the Seanad in 2016 on the Trinity College panel.