€5 million allocated this year to fight antimicrobial resistance

A total of €5 million has been allocated this year for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) measures in the health service.

Health Minister, Simon Harris said this funding and a further €2 million allocated last year would be used for infection prevention and control teams in both acute hospitals and community care settings in 2019.
“I am delighted to announce this significant targeted investment to increase our public health system’s capacity to tackle AMR and healthcare associated infections, including the superbug CPE.

“This represents a significant step forward in funding our infection control teams in hospitals and community care settings.”

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The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) was convened as a result of the activation of the Public Health Emergency Plan, on October 25, 2017, as a public health response to CPE in Ireland.

The purpose of the NPHET has been to provide advice, guidance, support and direction on the surveillance and management of CPE at national level.

While the number newly diagnosed CPE patients has slightly increased, this is in the context of substantially increased screening activity over the past year.
Newly appointed Director of the National Patient Safety Office, Marita Kinsella, said “AMR is a significant challenge to medicine and society as a whole. Prevention of infection and appropriate management when it does occur is a cornerstone of patient safety.”

This investment will work towards advancing the strategic actions outlined in iNAP, Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017 – 2020.

Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2020 aims to implement policies and actions to prevent, monitor and combat AMR across the health, agricultural and environmental sectors. Reducing the inappropriate use of antimicrobial medicines, as well as preventing infections, is vital to stop the development and spread of resistant microorganisms.

The overall goal of Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2020 (iNAP) is to ensure, for as long as possible, the availability of effective antibiotic treatment options for both the human and animal population, with safe medicines that are quality-assured, used in a responsible way, and accessible to all who need them.

More specifically, Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2017-2020 aims to:

  • Improve awareness and knowledge of AMR through information campaigns, education, intelligence and data
  • Enhance surveillance of antibiotic resistance and antibiotic use through surveillance systems that facilitate greater standardisation of data collection, data linkage and sharing of real time information
  • Reduce spread of infection through infection and disease prevention and control measures, including national guidelines and standards in relation to hygiene and biosecurity practices
  • Optimise the use of antibiotics in human and animal health through development and implementation of antimicrobial stewardship programmes, promotion of prudent prescribing practices and access to rapid diagnostics
  • Promote research and sustainable investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions through measuring evaluable costs of HCAI/AMR, identifying research opportunities and working with key stakeholders to develop alternative disease treatment tools.