Minister for Health announces plans to modernise and reform the health service.

The Minister for Health Micheál Martin has announced plans for an intensive consultation process to modernise and reform the health service.

In a speech at the National Health Partnership Forum in Tullamore County Offaly, Mr Martin said he intends to publish a strategy for a modernised health service by the middle of next year. This will form part of a ten year plan for the health services which has suffered from a staffing crisis and long waiting lists.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Martin said,

We have to learn from the mistakes of the past.

The Forum of 24 managers and representatives will now chair a nationwide consultation process and has less than a year to come up with a ten year strategic plan for the health service.

Co-Chairman of the Forum Mattie Merrigan said that it is their job to come up with a plan that will be deliverable within five to 10 years.

Des Kavanagh General Secretary of the Psychiatric Nurses Association welcomes this development but has reservations about the strategy.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 September 2000. The reporter is Aileen O'Meara.