COVID-19 presents an unprecedented challenge to public health for our modern society. But as the immediate emergency subsides, it also offers an unprecedented opportunity. We now have an opportunity to re-imagine – re-imagine how we design, deliver, inform, and evaluate healthcare in the future. The opportunity to embrace new solutions to old problems, the opportunity to involve and inspire. Patients want to be, and should be, an integral partner in this re-imagining.
This online discussion seeks to offer a space for dialogue for the many patient (and non-patient!) voices who have long advocated for greater public and patient involvement across the health system. We hope that representatives from the HSE and the Department of Health will also join in this debate. We believe that only by discussing together can we arrive at a collective vision for meaningful and sustainable public and patient involvement in healthcare in Ireland.
We hope this discussion will highlight the need for and support for a systemic approach to public and patient involvement in healthcare. We intend to facilitate more online discussions in the second half of the year to explore the experience of other countries and to identify the key elements or pillars of any future public and patient involvement system for Ireland.