HMI President, Mr. Derek Greene said he was delighted to see so many people at this, the fifth HMI national Conference – those who had been at previous conferences and those who were attending for the first time. He extended a particular welcome to HSE Director General, Mr. Tony O’Brien and Health Minister, Dr. Leo Varadkar, as he officially opened the packed Conference in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin.
“We have tried to ensure that we have representatives from every healthcare facility in Ireland at today’s conference on ‘Change For The Better’and we hope that you will find today a day of learning and development as we embrace concepts of change and delivery of health care at home and abroad,” he told the 350 managers who attended.
He said he wished to give a warm welcome to the Minister who had prioritised the Conference in his busy schedule. The Minister’s role was obviously to implement Government policy and he also had a vital role in providing leadership to the health services. “Dr.Varadkar has been a strong advocate in seeking additional funding to address the health service deficit caused by the economic downturn, he has been very successful in this and we are very grateful for his work. We know he expects managers to up their game in key performance areas and recent media reports have indicated that acceptable targets must be reached.”
We know that the Minister is working hard to address the deficits which came about as a result of the downturn in the economy
The President said the HMI was the professional body for healthcare managers across all sectors of healthcare in Ireland. “Our objectives are to inform, educate and support our members and we have an extensive year round programme of activities in which our members can participate and get involved. Each year we focus on introducing new services for our members and we encourage you and your colleagues here today who are not members of the HMI to join us. We want to expand and have a strong membership in every healthcare facility in Ireland.
“The theme of today’s conference is ‘Change For The Better,’ and it takes place at a time of some optimism for people working to deliver high quality services. Some may say that this optimism is based on the fact that things have stopped getting worse, but all the indicators seem to be positive moving forward as our economy has turned the corner. For the first time in many years, this year there has been no reduction in our funding and we know that the Minister is working hard to address the deficits which came about as a result of the downturn in the economy and I believe there are good reasons for optimism looking ahead, but not without challenges.
“In recent years our problem was that we were forced to reduce staff quickly, now our problem is to recruit and retain staff.
“Our speakers will share many of the initiatives to improve access to our services and the quality of our services for our users.
“During the day we will give you a snapshot of the innovative work done by those who participated in our HMI Leaders Award. These record improvements brought about by hardworking members of the health service at a time of great challenge – evidence that people are working to make changes for the better”
Mr. Greene thanked HMI sponsors, particularly those who had sponsored the Conference. “We are conscious of the need to meet with members regularly and disseminate information on key developments and the way we do this is through meetings and conferences. I want to thank our main sponsor GSK which as well as supporting today’s Conference also sponsors our regional meetings.
“We are aware of innovations and the fast growing pace of technology and the question for us is how managers can best utilise these innovations, how they cope with the continued challenge of strained budgets and how we train and develop our staff to gain maximum advantage from the latest developments.”
See our Conference photo gallery.