Under Fine Gael healthcare is being transformed at all levels. In 2016 the Fine Gael-led government established the cross-party Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare which led to the publication, in May 2017, of Sláintecare, a ten-year vision to transform Ireland’s health and social care services
Budget 2022 saw a Health Budget of €21 billion, the biggest ever investment in Ireland’s health and social care services.
Sláintecareis being implemented by the Sláintecare Programme Implementation Office and is accompanied by unprecedented investment in healthcare.
Reforms to date have included the establishment of the Hospital Group system, which ensures that hospitals deliver care appropriate to their size and enables smaller hospitals to specialise in certain routine treatments and procedures, a trebling of the number of primary care centres to ensure timely access to care in the community, and the introduction of innovative healthcare services through the Sláintecare Integration Fund.
Fine Gael in government is making healthcare more affordable. We have:
- Introduced Free GP Care for over 70s and under 6s and are extending this to children aged between 6 and 12 years on a phased basis
- Introduced Free dental care for Under-6s (since September 2020)
- Provided GP cards for carers (since September 2018)
- Reduced the monthly Drugs Payment Scheme threshold from €144 per month (in 2012) to €100 (Budget 2022).
The Covid-19 Pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for our health service. Fine Gael, with our coalition partners, have worked to expand capacity. Over 800 additional acute hospital beds and over 80 ICU beds have been added to the health system since the Pandemic started.
Through the largest ever Vaccination Programme in the history of the State we have provided critical protection against the Covid-19 coronavirus with a further booster vaccination programme underway.
Under Fine Gael in Government, we agreed a New GP Contract, investing €210 million to sustain vital services in our communities. This will help modernise general practice over the next 4 years, as well as provide dedicated support for people with chronic illness, opportunities for increased use of technology-based solutions, local multidisciplinary team working and significantly improving medication safety.
Chronic Disease Management Programme has been rolled out.
Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018 –This groundbreaking legislation marksthe first time in the history of our State that we have used public health legislation to address issues in respect of alcohol.