The Department of Health spent over €1.15 million on the Healthy Ireland (HI) campaign last year, this newspaper has been told. However, a Department spokesperson added that this figure did not reflect the total spend on HI across departments and agencies.
“In 2016, expenditure on implementing Healthy Ireland from within the budget of the Department of Health amounted to €1,156,406,” a Department spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).
“It is not possible to identify in totality how much funding is currently spent on improving health and wellbeing across all Government departments and agencies and in wider society.”
The spokesperson said the varied nature of the spending regarding HI made it difficult to provide a total figure.
“Expenditure arising in the HSE, particularly in the Health and Wellbeing Division, could also be described as implementation of Healthy Ireland,” added the spokesperson.
“However, it is not possible to disaggregate expenditure on promoting and improving health and wellbeing generally from overall HSE expenditure.
“Again, for example, within overall HSE expenditure, and in addition to work which is an integral part of the Health and Wellbeing Division, a large component of health promotion and improvement work takes place across the acute and primary care services as part of normal day-to-day activity. There is also expenditure arising in relation to communications campaigns by the HSE.”
The term of the Healthy Ireland Council and its Chairperson Mr Keith Woods is due to come to an end next month.
However, the Department told MI that it had yet to make a decision on whether the current Council membership will be changed or the Chairperson.
“The Healthy Ireland Council was appointed for three years from the end of May 2014,” said the spokesperson.
“Matters relating to the Council are under deliberation in the Department at present.”
The Department further confirmed that the third Healthy Ireland survey is also underway.
“A contract to the value of €1,687,920 was awarded to conduct three waves of the HI survey,” the spokesperson told MI.
“Data collection for the third wave is currently underway and publication is expected later in 2017.”