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28 Sept 2022

Revealed: Carlow councillor elected as new head of the HSE Regional Health Forum

Congrats Arthur!

Carlow Health Forum

The HSE’s Regional Health Forum South has elected a new Chair at its meeting held in Cork on Thursday (27th June).

Cllr. Arthur McDonald, a member of Carlow County Council, was unanimously elected to the position. Cllr. McDonald takes over from Cllr. Jason Murphy of Waterford City & County Council, who has served in the position over the last year.

Pictured above: Cllr. Arthur McDonald (seated), pictured at the chamber in County Hall, Cork at the conclusion of a meeting of the HSE’s Regional Health Forum South during which he was elected Chair of the body. Pictured with the new Chair (standing from left to right) are: Bridie McCarthy (Director of Nursing, South/South West Hospital Group), Ger Reaney (Chief Officer, Cork-Kerry Community Healthcare) and Anna Marie Lanigan (Head of Service/Primary Care, South East Community Healthcare).

There are four Regional Health Forums nationally, their membership made up of nominated representatives from the city and county councils within their regions. The functional area of the Regional Health Forum South covers the eight local authorities in counties Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. The Fora make representations to the HSE on the range and operation of health and personal social services in their areas. The HSE, in turn, provides administrative services to the Forum. The media are welcome to attend full meetings of the Forum, which in the case of the Regional Health Forum South convenes at the chamber in County Hall, Cork. The Forum also meets as Cork/Kerry and South East area committees.

 

Cllr. Arthur McDonald was first elected to Muine Bheag (Bagenalstown) Town Council in 1985 and subsequently to Carlow County Council in 1991 – being re-elected to the latter in last month’s local authority elections. Cllr. McDonald, has been a prominent advocate for health services in and for Co. Carlow, was the outgoing Vice Chair of the Regional Health Forum South and also chaired its South East Committee. A Fianna Fáil party representative, Cllr. McDonald has been a long time community activist – including as chair of the Bagenalstown St. Patrick’s Day organising committee and currently chairs Carlow County Council’s Special Policy Committee on Community, Housing and Amenities. A farmer, married to Breda with four sons and one granddaughter, Arthur is looking forward to working with representatives across the seven counties covered by the Regional Health Forum, in their regular liaison with management of various sections of the Irish health services.

 

The Regional Health Forum South's remit relates to two Hospital Groups and two Community Healthcare Organisations.

·         The South/South West Hospital Group is comprised of Cork University Hospital/CUMH, University Hospital Waterford, Kerry University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital (Cork), South Tipperary General Hospital (Clonmel), South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (Cork), Bantry General Hospital, Mallow General Hospital and Kilcreene Orthopaedic Hospital (Kilkenny) in partnership with the Medical School at University College Cork.

·         The Ireland East Hospital Group comprises of 11 hospitals - including St. Vincent's University Hospital and Mater Misericordiae University Hospitals in Dublin, St. Luke's General Hospital Carlow/Kilkenny and Wexford General Hospital in partnership with the Medical School at University College Dublin.

·         The South East Community Healthcare organisation delivers Primary Care (including community care services), Mental Health, Social Care (including older persons and disability services) and Health and Wellbeing services in counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford.

·         The Cork-Kerry Community Healthcare organisation delivers Primary Care (including community care services), Mental Health, Social Care (including older persons and disability services) and Health and Wellbeing services in counties Cork and Kerry.

 

Looking forward to his term as Chair of the Forum, Cllr. McDonald said:

 

"I regard it as an honour to have been elected by my colleagues to serve as Chairperson of the Regional Health Forum South. As Chairperson, I'll be working closely with the management of the South/South West Hospital Group, the Ireland East Hospital Group, Cork/Kerry Community Healthcare and South East Community Healthcare and their colleagues at the Regional Health Forum Office in Cork. We all have the same aim and that is to ensure that the highest standard of health care is provided to our local communities. I see the operation of the Forum in that context as central to the HSE's public remit - and that of the Hospital Groups and Community Healthcare organisations in their development. The Forum is a most useful body, as it enables interaction between public representatives and the HSE on issues of concern to our constituents. As Chairperson, I will be ensuring that issues of interest to people across the region are heard and addressed."

 

Cllr. Gearóid Murphy, a representative of Cork County Council, was elected as Vice Chair of the Forum.

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