May 21, 2024
Significant ring-fenced funding needed to deliver digital transformation in healthcare – David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has called on the Government to set aside a ring-fenced budget for digital transformation in the health service.

Responding to the publication of Digital for Care: A Digital Health Framework for Ireland 2024-2030, he added that the productivity, efficiency, and cost control potential makes a ring-fenced digital transformation budget a “no brainer”.

The Waterford TD said that a patient app and progression of shared care records would be important steps, but that delivering digital transformation would require going much further to deliver modern health information systems including a fully integrated financial management system, integrated waiting list and referral management systems, or electronic health records.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“The previous digital health strategy was not delivered because the Government failed to provide a ringfenced budget. That mistake should not be repeated with the new Digital Health Framework.

“Digital transformation brings massive potential for improving efficiency, productivity, and cost control right across the health service, as well as improving patient and staff experience.

“A patient app and shared care records will be an important first step, but the fact is that this Government is coming to the end of its term and has failed to invest meaningfully in digital transformation.

“Delivering a modern health service requires going much further, including a fully integrated financial management system, integrated waiting list and referral management systems, and proper electronic health records.

“The Government is only now publishing a digital health plan, having failed to implement the previous strategy. It has not provided specific funding to implement the plan.

“The Minister for Health is essentially launching a plan that will be the responsibility of the next Government, without providing any additional funding for it.

“In this Government’s final budget, it must provide a ring-fenced budget for digital transformation. The Minister needs to lay out how much the delivery of the Framework will cost, and how much funding is needed in each year up to 2030.

“The productivity, efficiency, and cost control potential makes a ring-fenced digital transformation budget a no brainer.”

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