Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare Submission

August 2016


  • Begin by focussing on the outcome to be achieved – the healthcare system to be delivered by 2026 and the level of universality which the system will deliver
  • Health and social care systems must be integrated so that they can to respond to the changing needs of the population
  • Key steps in achieving integration of care for the committee to consider include:
    • Start improving the integration of care by strengthening and investing in primary care
    • Promote parity between physical and mental health
    • Shift historic behavioural and cultural attitudes in health and allied services
    • Budget pooling or special ring-fenced funding for integrated services
    • Incentives for providing comprehensive, coordinated and continuous care for prevention and management of chronic diseases
    • Put in place a well-resourced integrated Information and Communication Technology system
  • Examine the approaches to integrating care taken by the UK, USA, Germany, Denmark, and Scotland
  • Examine publicly funded health systems based on progressive taxation or social insurance as the most effective and financially sustainable ways to provide universal access to health and social care based on need and not on ability to pay.
  • Explore the merits of using our current tax-based system to provide universal access by extending free access to primary care to cover the whole population
  • Explore the introduction of a single waiting list for elective treatments for public and private patients in public hospitals to address unequal access to hospital care
  • The committee’s decisions in relation to the prosed funding model should be informed by the Economic and Social Research Institute’s (ESRI) research on the costs of reforming the health system based on different funding models and the Trinity College Pathways Project