Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (851)

Aindrias Moynihan


851. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Health if he will report on the implementation of the Crowe Horwath report on public health medicine. [6972/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

My Department and the Health Service Executive (HSE) are committed to delivering on the recommendations that were made for Public Health in the Crowe Horwath report. The report recognised the very important role that public health medicine plays in the health of our population and in how our health service is managed and delivered.

Initial progress on the implementation of the future public health model was paused due to demands related to the Covid-19 response. Officials in the Department, in conjunction with the HSE have since completed a substantial amount of work on a detailed framework for the future public health model. As engagement with the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) to discuss a pathway to the introduction of this reformed model is ongoing, it would not be appropriate for me to discuss in any detail what the future public health model may look like.

Further to these discussions, I also committed to significant investment in Public Health when I announced plans to double the current workforce last September, by recruiting an additional 255 permanent staff, at an annual cost of over €17m. This includes public health doctors, nurses, scientists, and support staff. This is not only a response to the current pandemic but is an investment in the future development of our Public Health function.