October 17, 2019

REVEALED: New plan to establish dedicated hospital group for South East

A NEW South East hospital group to serve Kilkenny and the rest of the region will be set up under a new plan to overhaul the country’s health services.

Under the plan drawn up by the Sláintecare health reform office, between five and six new regional integrated care organisations (RICO) will be set up across Ireland.

According to a report in the Sunday Business Post, the establishment of a RICO in the South East including University Hospital Waterford, is being considered.

However, it is reported that the South/South West group, which includes Cork University Hospital, is lobbying to keep University Hospital Waterford under its fold.

The RICOs will oversee a population-based approach to healthcare planning and delivery. However, plans to further restructure the health service is likely to divide opinion.

The Minister for Health, Simon Harris, recently admitted that the current hospital structure is not “fit for purpose”.

The establishment of a dedicated hospital group for the region is likely to be warmly welcomed by hospital campaigners in the South East. Thousands of people from across the region are expected to join a march which will take place in Waterford next Saturday in protest at the lack of 24/7 cardiac care facilities in the South East.



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