Northern Ireland Health Minister Simon Hamilton has launched a public consultation on reform of Northern Ireland’s Health and Social Care system.
The Minister said: "On 4 November I outlined wide-ranging, ambitious and radical plans for transforming our health and social care system. The proposed changes seek to radically reduce bureaucracy and break down barriers to innovation.
"I want to de-layer the health and social care system by moving away from the current commissioning model and closing down the Health and Social Care Board. This will allow the Department to take firmer strategic control of the health and social care system. It will also allow Trusts to take control of planning the delivery of local services more effectively. The Public Health Agency will be retained in order to ensure a renewed focus on early intervention and prevention."
The Minister added: "I have been encouraged by the positive response to my proposals from other politicians, from health and care professionals and from members of the public, but I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their say on these proposals.
"The consultation will run for eight weeks and I look forward to hearing the public’s views on these important issues. Northern Ireland faces huge challenges to our health and social care system now and into the future. If we are to conquer those challenges then we need an appropriate administrative structure and a system that allows our excellent staff to flourish."
The consultation document is available on the Department’s website with responses required by 12 February 2016.