Taoiseach's Foreword

Over the last few years, the largest ever expansion in health funding has been accompanied by an unprecedented series of studies and detailed investigations into all aspects of our health system. These have provided the essential building blocks for a comprehensive plan to develop and reform services which can meet the needs of Irish society today and across the next decade.

There is no denying the fact that our health system has many problems. These must and will be addressed - but there is no 'quick-fix' which can achieve what we all want, the highest quality of care for all.

This Strategy outlines a programme of investment and reform, starting immediately and stretching across the next decade. It sets clear priorities but also involves all elements of the system.

It is a highly ambitious and challenging agenda for change. With effective reform, and fully utilising the expertise of what is the largest professional workforce in the country, the unprecedented levels of investment which have been committed to our health services can deliver major improvements in services throughout the country.

For all parts of the system, from Government down, implementation will require an effective partnership with people willing to work together and, where necessary, change the way business is currently done.

On behalf of the Government I would like to thank the thousands of people who participated in the work of developing the Strategy. I have no doubt that the same spirit of openness and commitment will be seen as we all move forward to bring about the future which the Strategy is pointing us towards.

signature of Taoiseach