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Disparity revealed in the frequency of various Healthy Ireland subgroup meetings

At the November 2015 meeting of the Healthy Ireland Council, it was noted that the Reducing Health Inequalities Subgroup met four times in 2015, the Physical Activity Subgroup met once, the Communications Subgroup convened five times and the Children’s Subgroup never met.

A spokesperson for Healthy Ireland, which is managed by the Department of Health, told the Medical Independent (MI) that it was a matter for the subgroups to decide when to meet.

“The Healthy Ireland Council established four subgroups, each of which is made up solely of members of the Council,” said the spokesperson.

“The subgroups were established to help inform the Council’s thinking on particular issues. 

“Subgroups arrange their own meeting schedule as they deem appropriate. 

“They report directly to the Council and make recommendations for the Council’s consideration only; they do not report to the Health and Wellbeing Programme in the Department of Health.”

Healthy Ireland is a national framework established by the previous Government in 2013 to make Ireland a healthier nation “through cultural change, operational change and mindset change”.

“The role of the Healthy Ireland Council is to connect and mobilise communities, families and individuals into a national movement, with a common aim to support everyone to enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing,” said Healthy Ireland’s spokesperson.

The Council has 35 members from a wide range of areas including health, academia, older people, sport, non-government organisations, media, youth and diversity.

A cross-sectoral group comprised of “high-level representatives” from Departments and State agencies is also in place to support implementation.

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