Adjournment Debate. - Audit of Health System.

Tuesday, 15 October 2002

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 2

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  102.  Mr. Stanton  Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if the contract for the audit of the functions and structures of the health system has been awarded; when their report is due; the purpose of the audit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17903/02]

[495]

  255.  Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin  Information on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin  Zoom on Breeda Moynihan-Cronin   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   when the audit of functions and structures of the health service will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18563/02]

  263.  Ms O. Mitchell  Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if the contract for the audit of the functions and structures of the health system has been awarded; when their report is due; the purpose of the audit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17932/02]

  276.  Ms O. Mitchell  Information on Olivia Mitchell  Zoom on Olivia Mitchell   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   if the contract for the audit of the functions and structures of the health system has been awarded; when their report is due; the purpose of the audit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17945/02]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 102, 255, 263 and 276 together.

My Department awarded the contract to perform an audit of the structures and functions in the health system to Prospectus Strategy Consultants. The contract was signed on 19 June 2002 and is due to be completed early in 2003.

The purpose of the consultancy project is to determine whether the structures in the health system are the most appropriate and responsive to meet current and future service needs, constitute an adequate framework for overall governance of the health system, achieve an effective integration of services across all parts of the system, adequately represent the views of consumers in the planning and delivery of services, focus sufficiently upon the principles of equity, accountability, quality and people-centredness and the national goals of the health strategy and to recommend any changes believed to be necessary as a result of the analysis, including an implementation strategy for any changes proposed.

The audit is critically examining the number and configuration of existing health organisations – there are over 50 agencies in the system – their interaction with one another and the Department of Health and Children, the adequacy of governance arrangements and the scope for rationalisation. The audit is now well under way and the consultative phase is due to commence shortly. The primary focus of the audit is to establish the organisational improvements needed to strengthen the capacity of the health system to meet the challenges of implementing the programme of development and growth, modernisation and reform set out in the quality and fairness strategy document.


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