As a leading healthcare company, we were delighted to see the recent publication of the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy. These wide-ranging recommendations will shape the future of Ireland’s health system and at GSK we are ready to play our part, writes Eimear Caslin, General Manager, GSK, Ireland.
Reforms will change the way Healthcare Organisations (HCOs) and Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) deliver services. HCPs will need to be supported to meet the evolving needs of their patients. Patients, particularly those with chronic diseases will need to learn how to adopt a selfcare approach with health and wellbeing at its core. Both HCPs and patients will need to embrace new models of integrated care moving away from our current hospital centric model.
Supporting HCOs and HCPs has always and continues to be a very important part of what we do at GSK. Whether that is through continuing medical education, investigator sponsored studies, independent medical education, or supporting patient review programmes, the end goal is always the same: to help HCPs make the best decisions for their patients.
Both HCPs and patients will need to embrace new models of integrated care moving away from our current hospital centric model.
It is very important that this support exists, particularly in a healthcare system under severe resource constraints. We believe it is equally important that this is done transparently and free from perceptions of any potential conflicts of interest. The combination of HCP and patient confidence in healthcare plays a critical role in how patients feel and how they respond to treatment, so it is very important that these relationships are based on trust.
Twice a year our Independent Medical Education grant scheme is opened to applicants. We provide up to €100,000 each year via our IME fund. Some of the previous recipients have designed programmes of education that have had significant breadth and depth of reach, and that continue to have an impact both for HCPs and their patients.
As well as educational supports for HCPs we continue to support the crucial work of Irish Patient Advocacy groups in the disease areas we are active in: while we have a vast portfolio of medicines, our three main therapy areas are Vaccines, Respiratory and HIV. That support may be through vital disease awareness programmes, core funding or through specific initiatives aimed at improving the lives of Irish patients.
A specific example of this is the annual funding we give to the Asthma Society of Ireland to support a nationwide nurse education service. This is delivered through community pharmacies for patients.
We would advocate however, that all patients, with asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease need to be supported by way of structured review at a primary care level to help keep them out of hospitals and living more productive and independent lives.
At GSK, we see ourselves as a partner in healthcare, and not unlike the GAA supporters that have travelled the length and breadth of the country for All-Irelands over the past month, we are 100% committed and in it for the long haul.