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Sláintecare: What Does it Mean for Nurses?

Sláintecare is a ten-year programme introduced by the Irish government in 2017 with the aim of transforming the Irish healthcare system. The programme was created in response to numerous reports that highlighted the need for significant reform in the healthcare sector in Ireland. In this article, we explore the main objectives and principles of Sláintecare and what it means for nurses.

Improving Healthcare Access and Delivery

The primary goal of Sláintecare is to improve access to healthcare for all Irish citizens. To achieve this, the programme seeks to reduce waiting times, increase the availability of community-based care, and promote a more integrated approach to healthcare. The five core principles that underpin the programme are person-centred, equitable, accountable, integrated, and sustainable.

At its core, Sláintecare aims to tackle the main problems faced by healthcare professionals in Ireland: patient care, waiting lists, high costs, overreliance on hospitals, and lack of adequate community care, among others. It also seeks to improve access to healthcare and to improve eHealth (electronic health) in the country.


By adopting a person-centred approach, Sláintecare aims to put patients at the heart of healthcare delivery. This involves understanding and addressing the unique needs of individual patients and tailoring care to meet their specific requirements. The equitable principle ensures that everyone has equal access to healthcare regardless of their socioeconomic status or location.

Moving Away from HSE

Sláintecare as originally envisaged also seeks to move away from the national body of the HSE to establish six Regional Health Areas across Ireland, with each one responsible for its own budget and care delivery. The programme involves significant investment in healthcare infrastructure, workforce development, and digital transformation.

The ultimate goal of Sláintecare is to ensure that the Irish healthcare system is universal, accessible, and delivers high-quality care to all.

What Does This Mean for Nurses?

Overall, we have seen a huge increase in care within the community roles, which is going to increase on a private and public level furthermore. Nurses will work closely with other healthcare providers such as pharmacists, GPs, and social workers to provide a coordinated approach to care. 

Nurses will also play a vital role in supporting patients to avoid hospital stays and facilitate their safe discharge from hospital. This will involve working closely with patients and their families to ensure that they have the necessary support to manage their health and wellbeing at home.

Finding a Nursing Role with Clarity

Here at Clarity, we work with numerous organisations on looking to fill nursing roles, including the HSE and private companies. If you're thinking of making the change into the community sector, get in touch today. We provide free career consultations to find the perfect role for you. Get in touch below for more information.

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Posted on 17 April 2023 by Laura Mulchrone
Author Info

Laura Mulchrone

01 567 3123
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