Legislation for new Directorate structure in the HSE to be in place during the summer

29 May 2012

The Government has today approved the Heads of a Bill which will see the formal abolition of the Board of the Health Service Executive and the establishment of a new Directorate structure for the organisation.

The Cabinet approved the urgent drafting of the legislation and it is the intention of the Health Minister, Dr James Reilly, that the new legislation will be law by summertime.

In December of last year the Government gave the original go ahead for the drafting of the Heads of the Bill – today’s move clears the way for the composition of the final legislation.

The development is an important part of the process of radical reform of the health services as planned by this Government. The intention is to put in place a system of Universal Health Insurance ending the current “two-tier” system and ensuring access for patients on the basis of need rather than means.

The new Directorate Structure of the HSE will provide a new administrative architecture designed to guide the organisation towards the roll out of Universal Health Insurance.

The current top management structure of the HSE is responsible for corporate and support functions such as finance, HR, communications, quality and safety programmes rather than specifically services.

In anticipation of the legislative changes approved today, the HSE will now recruit national directors for hospitals, primary care, mental health, social care and health & well being.

The new management arrangements reflect the need for greater operational management focus on the delivery of key services and greater transparency about funding, service delivery and accountability.

Commenting on today’s development Minister James Reilly said "This government came to power with a commitment to put in place a better health service for patients. We face enormous challenges in terms of budgets. But today’s approval by the Government for major changes to the governance of the HSE is a key step along the road to the establishment of a health service that has as its highest value the best outcomes for patients.