Fórsa’s Health and Welfare division has received an Excellence in Business award, from Public Sector magazine, in recognition of its role in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Fórsa received the award under the ‘Health & Welfare Support’ category.
The award acknowledges excellence in key providers to the Irish public sector and “the professionalism of companies that excel in what they do.”
In an interview with the magazine, head of division Éamonn Donnelly (pictured) explained that the public sector, and its workforce, is at the very core of the union’s business, which is about the representation of a critical resource within the public service, namely the staff: “This, in turn contributes to enhanced service delivery outcomes.
“An example would be how, through constructive negotiation, staff in the health sector were immediately flexible to provide a response to the emerging Covid crisis at a time when there was no formal testing and contact tracing function.”
Éamonn added that the two main issues at present are the successful roll-out of the mass vaccination programme as well as building the proper structures and implementing the model of healthcare envisioned in the approved Government healthcare policy ‘Sláintecare’.
He added: “This policy seeks to create a universal single tier accessible health system which doesn’t rely on ability to pay, where the right care is provided to the patient, in the right place at the right time and where also the over reliance on the acute hospital system is removed in favour of preventative and remedial community health interventions.
“In broader terms Fórsa continues to promote and oversee stability within the public sector through the public service agreement, Building Momentum.
“Within the health sector we are saying that the span of grades represented by Fórsa is essential to the new model of healthcare and that Fórsa is ‘At the heart of it all’ ,” he said.
Éamonn said the union’s broader message is about “a thriving workforce is a thriving public service.”