Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
169. Deputy George Lee asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will provide this Deputy with a copy of the Integrated Workforce Planning Strategy for the Health Services 2009 to 2012 report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [42010/09]
Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): My Department and the Health Service Executive published the Integrated Workforce Planning Strategy for the Health Services on 6th November 2009. The strategy was designed and developed to ensure integration of workforce planning activity with the broader objectives of financial and service planning in the Irish health care and social care system. As a significant proportion of health funding is spend on staff costs, it is necessary to ensure that it is spent efficiently and delivers on key health goals. The strategy is particularly relevant in the current economic climate as it ensures a credible check that workforce demands are achievable and can be met within current financial or human resources or through dedicated funding.
The strategy supports the development of health service human resources including initiatives already underway such as improved Consultant/NCHD ratios, Nurse Prescribing and SKILL development for support staff. It also provides health service planners with the tools to assess other sources of supply through redeployment, retraining or changed skill mix.
The strategy sets out to enhance existing workforce planning analysis in the Irish health service for a wide range of health care occupations. For example, the Strategy follows the publication in June of the report by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) and FÁS —A Quantitative Tool for Workforce Planning in Healthcare. That report contained workforce planning analysis for selected health care occupations and provided a valuable evidence base for workforce planning decisions resulting from policy and demographic changes. The strategy was published on the Department’s website and a copy is available to download at the following address: http://www.dohc.ie/publications/workforce_planning_strategy.html.
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