“Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.” An old Irish saying I first heard in primary school and thought I understood. In more recent times it’s one that we have heard our President, Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins, use often to remind us about how we rely on each other.
Translated literally, it means that we live in each other’s shadows meaning that we are shielded from the sun by each other; we rely on each other for shelter. It’s hard to imagine, even in these times of global warming, that shelter from the sun is a significant consideration for anyone living in Ireland today. But I was reminded of this old Irish saying at our annual conference which was attended by over three hundred delegates. The theme of our conference was integration and speaker after speaker underscored the importance of all sectors pulling together in the task of providing care. The ability to develop and sustain functional working relationships between providers of healthcare remains a key skill for any manager but the willingness to recognise our interdependencies and to both lean on and support each other are also of fundamental importance.
2024 will bring further welcome steps in the implementation of the Sláintecare report. Key among these will be the establishment of Regional Health Areas as units of service delivery. Implementing these important changes, while also ensuring that we continue to oversee the provision of high quality, safe care will be challenging for Health Care Managers. We at the HMI look forward to working with you and supporting you in whatever ways we can through that process.
Wishing you a very happy and healthy Christmas.