Interim Health Information and Quality Authority Welcomes Health Bill Draft
- Establishment of new health services body will boost public confidence in health services - Dr. Tracey Cooper, interim Health Information and Quality Authority ceo.
- Powers will include inspection of public and private nursing homes
Dr. Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of the interim Health Information and Quality Authority (the Authority) and its Board, today welcomed the publication of the Health Bill 2006 which will establish the Health Information and Quality Authority on a statutory basis in the New Year.
Dr. Cooper said that the quick passage of the Health Bill 2006 must be a priority for all members of the Oireachtas to allowing the new Authority to proceed with its very important work.
"Recent controversies have highlighted public concern about some standards of care within our health and personal social services. The public have a right to expect that when they use or come into contact with our health and social services, that they will be treated safely with high quality care, dignity and respect.The Health Information and Quality Authority will be the first truly independent Authority working to assure that our health services are delivered to world class standards for our citizens", she said.
The Health Information and Quality Authority will be the primary Authority responsible for assuring the safety of patients and other people who use the health and social services in Ireland. It will also review 'value for money' within the health system which will include the carrying out of assessments of health technologies and assessing new and existing drugs to assure that they impact positively on the quality of life for patients and represent value for money.
"Clearly the responsibility for delivering a quality service lies with the providers of health and personal social services - be they private, public or voluntary. However, the Health Information and Quality Authority will set the standards for the delivery of these services and will review and inspect service providers to ensure that the standards are being met, services are safe, and that staff are being supported in providing these services."
"We will investigate serious concerns in health or social services, and we will evaluate and provide information to staff and the public in relation to how well services are performing, and planning for the future", said Dr. Cooper.
"The Board and staff of the interim Authority have already completed a substantial body of work which will enable the new Authority to commence its work as soon as possible after the legislation is passed, including the inspection of public and private nursing homes. It is in the interests of all those who work within our health and personal social services, as well as patients and users of these services that we can do this without any delays", she said.