The 2013 Service Plan for the Mid Western Regional Hospital Group was launched at a meeting of the Regional Health Forum in Galway this Thursday, February, 28. Chief executive Ann Doherty said the focus for the year ahead will be to address patient safety and quality issues, continue to strengthen governance, work more efficiently, and meet targets set out in the national clinical programmes.
Key priorities will include reducing waiting times and improving access to all services. Specific targets include that no adult will wait more than eight months for an elective procedure and no child longer than twenty weeks. In the case of outpatient appointments the objective is that nobody will wait longer than one year.
The new group is a single hospital system operating across six sites, Dooradoyle, Regional Maternity, Regional Orthopaedic, St John’s, Nenagh Hospital and Ennis Hospital with common management, clinical leadership and financial control. The budget for 2013 is €238.344m, an increase of 10 per cent on 2012. However, despite this increase, there remains a substantial financial challenge of €21.759m for the year. A financial plan, comprising a variety of cost containment initiatives, is in place to deliver breakeven.
Ms Doherty said: “National cost containment initiatives including legislation to increase income from private patients, in addition to general income maximisation, staffing efficiencies, procurement and stock controls, and HSE funding for oncology drugs are all part of the breakeven plan. “
On growing links with the University of Limerick, Ms Doherty said the Hospitals Group benefits through joint consultant/professor appointments in areas such as medicine, surgery and obstetrics/gynaecology to name but a few. In addition the MWRHG benefits from the research of adjunct professors eg in paediatrics, medicine and nutrition. During 2013 the process of renaming the hospitals group to reflect this collaboration with UL will commence.