Agencies and Health Bodies

Rationalisation of Agencies in the Health Sector for the DOHC website

A major programme of agency rationalisation within the health sector was announced by the Minister for Health on 15th October, 2008. The primary aim of this ambitious programme is to streamline service delivery, professional registration and policy making in a number of areas in the health sector, through the integration and /or amalgamation of functions. Efficiencies will derive over time from economies of scale and the elimination of duplication in areas such as recruitment, procurement, payroll and ICT systems.

Legislation is required to facilitate the rationalisation programme and considerable work is ongoing within the Department in this area at present.

A list of the agencies in the rationalisation programme and the target timeframe for rationalisation.

List of Agencies

Commercial State Company

List of the agencies in the rationalisation programme

Arising from the Government decision of 8 July 2008 on expenditure measures, a comprehensive programme of agency rationalisation is to be implemented across the public service.

This Department’s measures for the rationalisation of agencies within the health sector have been prepared primarily in the context of the OECD’s recommendations for a more integrated public service. The measures reflect and build upon the progress to date with agency rationalisation within the sector under the overall health reform programme, and take account of experience to date with the practicalities of rationalisation.

The implementation of the rationalisation programme will mean that, the number of health agencies will decline from 30 to 15 agencies. The Department’s main focus to date has been and continues to be the progressing of a significant legislative programme required to facilitate the roll out of this rationalisation programme. Each agency must be dissolved and rationalised by way of Primary Legislation.

It had been originally planned to merge the FSAI and IMB but following a Memo to Government in 2010 it was agreed that both should remain stand alone agencies. Nine bodies have been dissolved to date as follows:

Agency Dissolved\Merged Date
National Council on Ageing & Older People Dissolved and subsumed into DoH&C 1 September 2009
Women's Health Council Dissolved and subsumed into DoH&C 1 October 2009
Postgraduate Medical and Dental Board Dissolved and subsumed into HSE 1 January 2009
Crisis Pregnancy Agency Dissolved and subsumed into HSE 1 January 2010
National Cancer Screening Services Board Dissolved and subsumed into HSE 1 April 2010
Office of Tobacco Control Dissolved and functions transferred to the HSE 1st January 2011
National Social Work Qualifications Board Subsumed into Health & Social Care Professionals Council 31st March 2011
Children Acts Advisory Board Subsumed into the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs on an administrative basis 08th September 2011
National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery Dissolved and subsumed into An Bord Altranais 31st December 2011

The implementation of the rationalisation programme will mean that, excluding the HSE, there will ultimately be 15 agencies in the health sector:

Plans are underway to rationalise a further four bodies as follows:

Programme for Rationalisation of Agencies in the Health Sector
Agency Current Position Due Date Next Steps
Drug Treatment Centre Board To be dissolved and subsumed into the HSE shortly Shortly The Health Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2009
National Cancer Registry Board To be dissolved and subsumed into HSE end 2012 (Provisionally) Awaiting enactment of the Health Information Bill
Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council To be subsumed into Health & Social Care Professionals Council Because of legal and technical issues, the subsuming of PHECC into the HSCPC has been postponed for the immediate future Health Miscellaneous Provisions Bill to be drafted
The Opticians Board To be subsumed into Health & Social Care Professionals Council To be confirmed (Provisionally end 2012) Health Miscellaneous Provisions Bill to be drafted