Government health reforms will remove layers of managers, Harris says

Minister says there are no plans for a redundancy scheme in the HSE

Minister for Health Simon Harris during Wednesday’s announcement on Sláintecare. Mr Harris  announced plans to establish six new regional bodies to operate hospital and community services. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Health Simon Harris during Wednesday’s announcement on Sláintecare. Mr Harris announced plans to establish six new regional bodies to operate hospital and community services. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 

Government plans to reform health service structures will remove layers of managers rather than add to them, Minister for Health Simon Harris has insisted.

However, he said the Government had no plans at this stage to put in place a redundancy scheme to cut health-service management numbers.

Mr Harris on Wednesday announced plans to establish six new regional bodies to operate hospital and community services around the country.

He said the new structures would have greater autonomy to make decisions at a local level and were key for the delivery of the Sláintecare reform programme.

“This will result in clear financial and performance accountability, empower frontline staff and devolve authority from the Health Service Executive (HSE) to local regions.”

However the Minister said the new regional health authorities would not have powers to set their own pay levels for staff and this would remain to be determined centrally.

Not duplicated

Mr Harris said that at present there were separate community organisations providing community and primary-care services while hospital groups oversaw hospital services.

He said these bodies each had their own finance departments and human resource departments. Under the proposed reforms these services would not be duplicated and would only need to be provided once.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the reforms would provide the organisation an opportunity to assess and evaluate everything it did at the centre. If these were not adding value to the public and frontline services, they should be stopped, he said.