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Budget 2020 delivers for Sláintecare

Published: 15 October 2019
From: Department of Health

€42 million has been committed to Sláintecare in Budget 2020, increasing to €92 million in 2021, signifying government commitment to delivering the Sláintecare vision of the right care in the right place at the right time.

Minister Harris said:

“Budget 2020 demonstrates Government’s commitment to bringing Sláintecare alive. €42 million has been committed to Sláintecare in 2020, increasing to €92 million in 2021. This will allow us to build on the momentum created since the Sláintecare office opened one year ago, and in bringing care closer to the community, will help us to deliver the Sláintecare vision."

Laura Magahy, Sláintecare Executive Director, said:

“These measures will help people stay in or near their homes for longer, either preventing hospital admissions or allowing for discharge earlier than would have been possible without these supports."
    Amount in 2020 Funding Areas
    €10 (€60 million in 2021) Up to 1,000 therapists, nurses and other advisers to care for people in the in the community, including advisors for people with Dementia
    €20 Engagement and Empowerment of People in the Care of their own health, Moving care from the hospital to the community, Care of Chronic Diseases and Older Persons
    €12 Providing safe care to people in the right location

€10 million has been committed for enhanced community care and in 2021 this will be increased to €60 million, including Primary Care, bringing the full year investment up to 2021 to €60 million. This will provide for up to 1,000 therapists, nurses and other professional advisers in the community allowing us to treat people in the community, closer to their own homes, reducing community waiting lists, in line with the recommendations of the Sláintecare all-party Oireachtas Committee.

€20 million has been committed for a ring-fenced fund which will allow services providers to test and scale innovative ways to shift care from the hospital setting to the community setting.

These will focus on:

  • empowering and engaging people in the care of their own health
  • shifting the model of care
  • chronic disease management and older people

€12 million has been committed for care re-design.

Other Budget 2020 initiatives that will contribute to the delivery of Sláintecare include:

€97 million has been committed to care for older people, with an emphasis on providing home and community support and allowing older persons to live independently, in their own homes, for as long as possible.

Additional funding of €25 million has been committed to the National Treatment Purchase Fund, bringing the total funding to €100 million in 2020. This fund will be used to improve access to hospital services and reduce waiting times for patients, a key Sláintecare goal.

€45 million has been committed for family friendly measures including prescription charges and reduced thresholds for the Drugs Payment Scheme. The Monthly threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme will be reduced by €10, while free GP care will be expanded to the under 8s. A Dental Care Package for the under 6s will be rolled out on a phased basis over the coming years to include preventative oral health and promotion. Prescription charges will be reduced and Medical Card income limits for the over 70s will be increased.

€10 million has been committed to the provision of palliative care, with additional specialist palliative care capacity being funded.

€40 million committed to the reformed GP contract will bring the total investment to date to €80 million. This will provide for a structured approach to chronic disease management, another key pillar of achieving Sláintecare’s goals.

Minister Harris concluded:

“Reducing our dependence on the hospital model of care and supporting capacity in the community is pivotal to the Sláintecare all-party Oireachtas Committee vision, and this budget allows us to increase the amount of care provided in the community."
"Today’s budget announcement will support us in creating an integrated health and social care system where patients can access the right care in the right place at the right time."


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