Puneet Varma (Editor)

Department of Health (Ireland)

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Formed  22 January 1947
Website  health.gov.ie
Jurisdiction  Ireland
Headquarters  Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2, D02 VW90
Minister responsible  Simon Harris, TD, Minister for Health
Department executive  Jim Breslin, Secretary General

The Department of Health (Irish: An Roinn Sláinte) is a department of the Government of Ireland. The Department's mission is to "support, protect and empower individuals, families and their communities to achieve their full health potential by putting health at the centre of public policy and by leading the development of high quality, equitable and efficient health and personal social services." The Department is led by the Minister for Health who is assisted by four Ministers of State.


The department attracts much controversy particularly due to the HSE. Brian Cowen, the former Taoiseach referred to it as "Angola" clarifying "just when you've cleared one land mine another goes off".

Departmental team

The official headquarters and ministerial offices of the department are in Hawkins House, Hawkins Street, Dublin 2. The departmental team consists of the following:

  • Minister for Health: Simon Harris, TD
  • Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy: Catherine Byrne, TD
  • Minister of State for Disability Issues: Finian McGrath, TD
  • Minister of State for Health Promotion: Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, TD
  • Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People: Helen McEntee, TD
  • Secretary General of the Department: Jim Breslin
  • History

    The Department of Health was created in 1947 with James Ryan as the first Minister. Prior to this the Department for Local Government and Public Health looked after Health issues. Over the years the Department's name has changed several times, however, the role of the Department has remained the same. The Department has been known as the following:

  • Department of Health (1947–1997)
  • Department of Health and Children (1997–2011)
  • Department of Health (2011–present)
  • Structure

    The role of the Department and Departmental team is to support the Minister and the democratic process by:

  • Formulating policy underpinned by an evidence-based approach and providing direction on national health priorities ensuring that quality and value for money are enhanced through the implementation of an evidence-based approach underpinned by monitoring and evaluation.
  • Protecting the interests of patients and consumers and supporting practitioners and professionals to practice to the highest standards by providing a prudent and appropriate regulatory framework.
  • Providing effective stewardship over health resources by demanding accountability for achieving outcomes including financial, managerial and clinical accountability, and by providing the frameworks, including enhanced service planning at national level to improve the overall governance of the health system.
  • Fulfilling the state's obligations in relation to the EU, WHO, Council of Europe and other international bodies and the continued implementation of the co-operation agenda decided by the North-South Ministerial Council.
  • References

    Department of Health (Ireland) Wikipedia

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