6 October 2017
The Public Health Committee met on Wednesday, 4 October 2017. Below is a summary of items discussed at the meeting:
The committee received an update from the Chairperson around the work being done to amend the implementation plan for Home Slaughtering. Further work has been done with ESH, ENRD, the Planning Authority and Environmental Health to align work on planning requirements regarding waste collection, stun-gun training and upgrading of facilities. Full details will be released through the Press. There is now firm expectation that the rules on Home Slaughtering will come into full force without further extension on 31 March 2018. The committee supported this approach.
Fees & Charges
The committee had a thorough review of fees and charges and proposed the new schedule to come into force from the new financial year. Details of the new fees and charges will be published in due course. The committee reviewed the charges upwards in line with inflation, however remained mindful of the impact of such increases on disposable household income. Exceptions currently in place will continue. Fees and charges will be considered for phasing out and be replaced mainly by a prepayment Health Insurance Scheme. The committee has agreed to explore such a scheme for full implementation and to engage the public in the design of such a scheme. Further details will be made available in due course.
New developments in the directorate were highlighted and welcomed by the committee – particularly the recent increase in the number of nurses undertaking the degree programme, from eight local staff to ten. Additionally, a training opportunity has been made available to one of our local dental staff – Charmaine Buckley – to train as a dental hygienist in the United Kingdom, commencing January 2018. Charmaine will succeed current expatriate staff in this role.
The Public Health Laboratory has successfully passed the ISO accreditation assessment this year.
The new Breast Screening Service has also commenced.
Plans are underway to replace the defunct clinical information system called EMIS. This will afford better opportunity for service planning, data collection and ability to manage patient information across all locations where service is provided.
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6 October 2017