Professor Alan Barrett appointed Chairperson of the Commission on Care for Older People
Today, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler announced the appointment of Professor Alan Barrett, Chief Executive Officer of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), as the Chairperson of the Commission on Care for Older People.
The independent Commission is due to be formally established in early 2024. It will examine the provision of health and social care services and supports for older people and make recommendations to the government for their strategic development. Subsequently, a cross-departmental group will be established under the auspices of the Commission to consider how best positive ageing can be supported across the life course across government departments. Costed implementation plans for options to optimise these supports will be produced.
Minister Donnelly commented:
"The appointment of Professor Alan Barrett as Chair of the Commission on Care for Older People. As one of Ireland’s leading economists who has served as Chief Executive of the ESRI since 2015, Alan brings a wealth of wide-ranging experience and expertise to the role."
Announcing the appointment, Minister Butler remarked:
"Ireland now has the highest life expectancy in the EU, as determined by the World Health Organization. We were also formally recognised as the first Age Friendly country in the world. These are remarkable achievements – and are to be celebrated.
"We know that Ireland has a rapidly ageing population, and the government’s priority is to support people to age in their own home and communities for as long as possible.
"The appointment of Professor Alan Barrett to the role of Chairperson of the Commission on Care for Older People marks a significant milestone in the Commission’s formation. Professor Barrett bring expertise in population economics and ageing, and public policy. Under his leadership I am confident that the Commission will undertake a comprehensive, incisive, and independent examination of health and social care services and supports for older people. It will also look at broader supports provided for positive ageing across the lifecourse by Government. Taken together, these will underpin the development of an evidence-based strategic framework to optimise and future-proof vital public services for Ireland’s ageing population.
"The important work of the Commission will give us invaluable data and insight into how we can continue to ensure that people can age well in Ireland. The voice and lived experience of older people will be central to the work of the Commission."