Our Hospitals and Primary Care


Our Vision for Healthcare In Ireland: 

A Great Place to Work, A Great Place to Receive Care


Overcrowding, Prolonged A&E Waiting Times, Delayed Discharges

  • Increase bed capacity and aim for a four-hour target wait for Emergency Departments.
  • Ensure there is an emergency medicine consultant present in emergency departments 24-hours.
  • Improve access to diagnostics for Emergency Departments and GPs with a new minor capital grant fund of €50m.
  • Remove recruitment embargo, target staffing allocations of additional consultants and nurses to critical areas in Emergency Departments.
  • Commence the 2,600 additional hospital beds recommended under the Capacity Review.
  • Significantly increase home care support hours to alleviate delayed discharges.
  • Examine how the district hospital network can be utilised more to provide step down facilities.
East Galway Healthcare 11
East Galway Healthcare 12


Supporting General Practice

  • Expand free GP care on the basis of means in line with Sláintecare’s goals and in alignment with an expansion in capacity.
  • Implement the recently agreed changes to the GP contract and include provisions for its continuous assessment and improvement.
  • Negotiate a new contract to underpin General Practice for the next 30 years to include issues such as Women’s Health Programmes, Out of Hours Services and Services to patients in Nursing Homes.
  • Increase GP training places to 274.
  • Protect rural GP practices by increasing the allowance to €30,000.


Mental Health Supports

The need for strong mental health supports is ever-growing, especially among younger people. Many parents have great concerns about the wellbeing of their children especially in a world of social media interaction. We will work to develop 21st-century skills such as teamwork, empathy, and resilience in school and youth settings. 

By providing a strong suite of measures of early intervention programmes designed to prevent mental ill-health developing in the first place we are committed to implementing a “Vision for change” and have allocated the €200m in additional spending required by that policy to finance the specific measures included in this.

East Galway Healthcare 13
East Galway Healthcare 14


Reduce waiting lists and waiting times

  • Increase the National Treatment Purchase Fund to €200 million.
  • Put the emphasis on reducing waiting times.
  • Ensure that anyone waiting more than six months for a procedure will be able to apply to the National Treatment Purchase Fund.


Home Help Packages

  • Provide an additional five million hours of home care support.
  • Implement a statutory homecare scheme.
  • Deliver a ‘Carers Guarantee’ proposal that will provide a core basket of services to carers across the country regardless of where they live.
East Galway Healthcare 15
East Galway Healthcare 16


Support Residential Care and the Fair Deal

  • Increase Fair Deal funding by €225m.
  • Develop a national strategy for long-term residential care of our older people that includes current and future plans for the funding and financing of this care.
  • Ensure that no Fair Deal resident is charged for services they do not use.
  • Implement the proposed Fair Deal changes for farming families.
  • Introduce an independent appeal process for nursing home providers under the Nursing Home Support Scheme.


Respite Hours

Urgent action is taken to better support carers and address years of underspending on homecare, carers payments and respite care. 

An accruing problem that will not go away.

East Galway Healthcare 17
East Galway Healthcare 18


Recruit More Nurses

  • Recruit 4,000 additional nursing staff over the next five years.
  • Within this number we will ensure that GP’s practice nurse numbers are increased by 300 and public health nurses by 350.
  • Implement the safe staffing framework in all hospitals.
  • Target increased numbers to decrease the overreliance on agency staff.

Recruit Extra Consultants

  • Negotiate a new contract with consultants.
  • End pay inequality for post 2012 entrants.
  • Recruit at least 800 extra consultants over five years.

€23 million investment in Ireland’s top post-doctoral researchers

Thursday 6 May 2021 Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today (Friday) announced €23 million in funding for a programme for post-doctoral researchers to become research leaders The investment, which is a...

Darkness Into Light taking place on the 8th of May 2021 to raise awareness for mental heath

Thursday 6th May 2021 Darkness Into Light 2021, supported by Electric Ireland, will take place at sunrise on the morning of 8th May. This year, as you cannot gather together at the usual Darkness Into Light venues, they are asking all supporters to don their yellow...

Publication of the Ombudsman Report ‘Wasted Lives: Time for a better future for younger people in Nursing Homes’

Press Release Wednesday 5th May 2021  The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, the Minister for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD and the Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler TD, have welcomed the publication of the Ombudsman report today (5 May...

International Day of the Midwife – Saolta University Health Care Group encourages people to consider midwifery as a career

29 April 2021  Marking this year’s International Day of the Midwife (05 May 2021) the Saolta University Health Care Group is asking people thinking about a future career to consider becoming a midwife. Whatever pathway is taken, there are endless opportunities for...

Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol

Press Release Wednesday 5 May 2021 Minimum Unit Pricing will come into effect in January 2022 A minimum unit price of 10c per gram of alcohol is provided for in section 11 of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act 2018. Minimum unit pricing will set a floor price beneath...

Department of Health announces funding for ambulatory gynaecology services and enhanced endometriosis service under the Women’s Health Fund

Press Release: Wednesday 21 April 2021 The Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, has announced details of two areas to be funded under the recently established €5 million Women’s Health Fund: Two community-based Ambulatory Gynaecology Services governed by two...

Minister for Disability welcomes resumption of assessments for Primary Medical Certificates

Friday 16 April 2021 Anne Rabbitte TD, Minister of State for Disability, has welcomed the resumption of the assessment process for Primary Medical Certificates under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme.  A requirement of the scheme,...

New buildings at Portiuncula Hospital ready from Monday 19th April – Minister Rabbitte

Thursday 15 April 2021 Minister of State in the Department of Health and Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East, Anne Rabbitte, has confirmed that the new modular building at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe will be ready for occupation from Monday, 19th April. The HSE has...

Minister Harris urges people to have their say on Review of the Student Grant Scheme

12 March 2021  Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD today welcomed the start of a public consultation on the review of the Student Grant Scheme. This Review was committed to under the current Programme for...

Our Government agrees to begin work on a Well-Being Framework for Ireland

6th February 2021 The Government has agreed on an approach to begin work on an overarching Well-being Framework for Ireland. A Framework for Wellbeing is a way of establishing a well-rounded, holistic view of how our society is performing, alongside the existing...

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