RCSI Conference to Examine the Good and Bad of Irish Health Policy
Experts in healthcare and policy came together at the National Healthcare Outcomes Conference held in RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences.
The annual conference, hosted by the Healthcare Outcomes Research Centre (HORC) based in the RCSI School of Population Health, featured a range of speakers and topics on the theme of ‘Irish health policy – Balancing the good and the bad’.
Attendees heard about hot topics in healthcare policy including cancer, mental health, healthcare data, Sláintecare and doctor retention. The programme looked at dynamics in policy development and factors in implementation, as well as the impact on the health service, access to care and patient outcomes.
In the first session of the day, chaired by RTÉ’s Audrey Carville, expert speakers looked at ‘Policies and Practice in Ireland’. Former Tánaiste and Minister for Health Mary Harney discussed the national cancer strategy and Dr Sarah Barry from RCSI’s School of Population Health presented on Sláintecare. Further presentations on topics including development of cardiovascular strategy and mental health services strategy and pharmaceutical innovation culminated in a diverse panel discussion.
‘Barriers to Effective Policy Making’ was the topic of the second portion of the conference. It was opened with an address by Professor Martin Curley, Professor of Innovation at Maynooth University and former head of digital transformation at the HSE before his resignation in January of this year. RCSI Vice President Professor Deborah McNamara discussed next steps for elective surgical care in Ireland, and Dr Niamh Humphries of the RCSI Graduate School of Healthcare Management shared learnings of the doctor retention study. Presentations on policy impact, design-led policymaking and the role of spatial scale in mapping health outcomes led into a wider discussion by the second expert panel of the day.
Established in 2016, the Healthcare Outcomes Research Centre (HORC) is dedicated to the development and dissemination of evidence-based research on healthcare outcomes that informs healthcare policy and improves patient outcomes. The National Healthcare Outcomes Conference offers a unique forum for discussion about meeting healthcare challenges and how this might impact policy, planning, service delivery, funding, as well as access to innovation.