Waterford TD welcomes regional health boards but raises questions
Sinn Féin TD for Waterford David Cullinane has cautiously welcomed the restructuring of the HSE into six new Regional Health Areas but said the true test of these changes will be health outcomes, service access and delivery, transparency and accountability, and cost-effectiveness.
He said it was encouraging to see UHW being positioned as a clear Level 4 Acute Hospital serving the South East region and that this must deliver 24/7 Emergency Cardiac Care (PPCI).
Speaking following the restructuring of health services into Regional Health Areas, Deputy Cullinane said: “There are many positives to geographically aligned Regional Health Areas, namely that it should deliver a more integrated health service underpinned by population-based planning and funding that is right for the needs of that local population."
“I argued this for some time and identified it as a central flaw in the breakup of the Southeast Hospital Network into new hospital groups. This created confusion regarding clinical pathways with patients in the Southeast being sent to Dublin or Cork for treatment that is it should be available at UHW. This must end. "
“However, the true test of these changes will be health outcomes, service access and delivery, transparency and accountability, and cost-effectiveness."
“While I cautiously welcome the creation of Regional Health Areas, I do still have concerns."
“Even with these changes, it should not be forgotten that services under these Regional Health Areas still need the necessary staff and the necessary staff to deliver the health services people need – without the staff and capacity the problems we currently have will still exist."
“It is also essential that as we work into the future that all health services are aligned within the Regional Health Areas, only this will ensure the effectiveness of the areas and that they deliver for the health needs of the local populations."