Reader Andrew Macfarlane, Commercialisation & Centre Manager, CASALA at The Netwell Centre of the Dundalk Institute of Technology, stepped forward to report on this past Wednesday’s Summit. (Please note the excellent cross-references for those who may not be familiar with Ireland-specific programs.) Many thanks Andrew from Editors Toni and Donna!
From an Industrial Age to Information Age Healthcare – National Health Summit, Ireland
The 10th National Health Summit, which took place in Dublin, Ireland, saw a good attendance and an impressive range of speakers. The event is primarily targeted at decision-makers involved in leading and managing the delivery of healthcare services in Ireland.
The morning session outlined the changing landscapes of healthcare delivery both in an Irish and International context. Next up, separate tracks covering Health Insurance (as the Irish government seeks to introduce Universal Health Insurance), Hospital Management & Digital Healthcare (the primary topic covered by this post). The final session covered helping patients stay healthy at home and an insightful panel discussion on reform of the health service.
Tony O’Brien, Director General of the Health Services Executive (HSE) provided the opening address, entitled “Choices for our health service”. The HSE is a large organisation of over 100,000 people, whose job is to run all of the public health services in Ireland. He highlighted that like most health care systems, they are facing rising demand and costs (current budget €13.6bn), and that at the same time has endured significant health budget cuts, 26% since 2008, with €600+m planned savings in 2014. The annual National Service Plan sets out key priorities.
Key takeaway from a digital health point of view is the policy aim of A New Model of Care Treatment at the Lowest Level of Complexity that is Safe, Timely, Efficient and as Close to Home As Possible. The HSE envisages transforming from an industrial age healthcare to information age healthcare, with cost-effective use of ICT. Challenging perhaps with a historical under-investment in ICT at 0.85% of budget vs EU average of 2-3%, a number of speakers referenced the “Ghost of PPARS” as reason for under investment.
Professor Aidan Halligan, Director of Education, University College London & Principal, NHS Staff College, England in a lively storytelling highlighted that the Cathedrals to Disease (more…)