Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

Wednesday, 10 December 2003

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 576 No. 6

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  211.  Mr. Gilmore  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the staff or staff representatives in his Department or boards or agencies under the aegis of his Department, that were consulted about the decentralisation proposal the Minister for Finance announced in his Budget Statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30288/03]

  212.  Mr. Gilmore  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the selection process used to select the locations identified in phases 1 to 3, inclusive, of the decentralisation proposal announced by the Minister for Finance in his Budget Statement, in respect of his Department, or boards, or agencies under the aegis of his Department; the locations considered; the criteria used to evaluate them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30303/03]

  213.  Mr. Gilmore  Information on Eamon Gilmore  Zoom on Eamon Gilmore   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the functions or sections of his Department, or boards or agencies under the aegis of his Department, it is proposed to decentralise in respect of each location identified in phases 1 to 3, inclusive, of the decentralisation proposal announced by the Minister for Finance in his Budget Statement; the grades and numbers of staff that will be transferred; their estimated payroll; the size of the office space that will be required for their accommodation; the inquiries that have been made to date regarding availability of office space at each location; the estimated cost of such office space; the estimated total cost of the decentralisation programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30318/03]

  214.  Mr. Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin   the legislation required to allow decentralisation of a section of his Department; the section involved; the legislation that must be amended; the timetable for its publication; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30348/03]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Information on Micheál Martin  Zoom on Micheál Martin  I propose to take Questions Nos. 211 to 214, inclusive, together.

I have outlined to the House in detail the Government's health reform programme. Its implications will affect my Department's role, the organisation of functions and the development of new structures such as the health service executive and the health information and quality authority.

My colleague, the Minister for Finance, Deputy McCreevy, indicated in his Budget Statement that [1637]500 health sector staff would be decentralised and that new structures would be located outside of Dublin. In view of the current position on the health reform programme the Government has decided not to make a decision, at this time, on when staff should be decentralised and to what locations these jobs should be assigned. It also decided that the health service executive, incorporating the national hospitals office, the primary, community and continuing care pillar and the shared services centre, and the health information and quality authority will be located outside of Dublin.

The Government's policy will be incorporated into the planning of the reform programme. At present the level of detail required by the Deputies is not available. It will emerge as part of the ongoing planning process. Part of it will require transition management processes such as change management, communications, human resources, industrial relations as well as other interactions with the wider stakeholders and they have been built into the plan. Under the reform programme there is a considerable legislative programme to be drafted to take account of the establishment of the new structures and their appropriate governance requirements.


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