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Disappointment has been expressed as the first landmark deadline of the Sláintecare Report, the establishment of an Implementation Office in the Department of the Taoiseach by the end of July, has passed without any tangible action.

Paul Gordon, Chairperson of the Health Reform Alliance, a coalition of charities across the health and social care sector, said: “Despite the priority given to the Sláintecare Report by the Taoiseach following his appointment in June, there is neither sight nor sound of the proposed Implementation Office or of the Minister for Health’s detailed response to the Report”.

He continued: “This is the first landmark in the report by the Committee on the Future of Healthcare that has been missed, and we’re disappointed that reform of the health and social care system has fallen further behind already.”

Mr. Gordon said the Sláintecare Report is “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” to create meaningful reform. However, he cautioned that it could falter if leadership from the top of Government fails to deliver a health system focused on caring for all groups in our society.

Although the Minister for Health was tasked with preparing a detailed response to the report in June, one has yet to be presented to Cabinet.

Kathryn Reilly, also speaking on behalf of the Alliance, warned that the Government must avoid picking and choosing recommendations “á la carte” if significant progress towards a single-tier healthcare system is to occur.