At the beginning of June, The Future of Healthcare Committee published its Sláintecare report.

At DEBRA Ireland, we welcome and support this 10-year plan, which aims to offer the patients of Ireland a single tier health service that will be fit for purpose and promote access to vital services via primary care.

What is primary care and a single tier health service?

Primary Care is all of the health or social care services that you can find in your community, outside of the hospital setting. This includes GPs, Public Health Nurses and a range of other services provided through your Local Health Office.

A single tier health service is Care provided based entirely on clinical need not one’s ability to pay.

What will primary care and a single tier health system mean for people living with EB?

  • It will mean that for the majority of patients diagnostic testing will be available locally. If you do not have a medical card it will mean you pay less for essential medications, it will mean you won’t be left out of pocket every time you need to visit your GP, and it will mean better outcomes for your life.
  • The recruitment of additional medical staff will facilitate the redirection of some hospital services into the primary care facilities, meaning elective procedures in hospitals will no longer be sidelined. This will reduce waiting list times and will increase the accessibility to vital treatments.
  • A Proposed health card ‘Carta Sláinte’ will give people a range of entitlements within the primary care setting, including disability services

Implementation:

Our political leaders, especially our next Taoiseach, must take the first step and ensure an Implementation Office for Sláintecare is set up by its July target.

Ensuring full implementation of this plan will be a challenge. However, DEBRA Ireland will work to ensure this imperative plan is not left on a shelf somewhere but instead ensures we can all access the care that we need.