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Health remains most lobbied public policy area

Health is the policy area with the highest number of incidences of lobbying, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.

New figures show health has twice as many incidences of lobbying as second-placed ‘economic development and industry’.

As of 20 May, the incidences of lobbying in health was 3,605. There were 1,716 registered incidences in ‘economic development and industry’. Agriculture was in third place, with 1,625 incidences.

The figures are compiled on the register of lobbying, overseen by the Standards in Public Office Commission. They date to when the register was established in September 2015.

In the final third of last year (September-December), there were 349 returns in the area of health, which was up on the period 1 May-31 August, when there were 341. Certain  policy topics featured regularly, such as the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill and the Termination of Pregnancy Bill. The Department of Health remains one of the most lobbied public bodies, with 2,283 occasions of lobbying registered.

In terms of ‘lobbying organisations’, Ibec is the most active organisation, registering 1,308 incidences of lobbying overall.

Medical representative bodies are also active, with the IMO registering 130 incidences of lobbying, the NAGP registering 51 and the IHCA 41.

A recent lobbying registration by the IMO concerned a meeting on Sláintecare and general practice with Independent Deputy Michael Harty, Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health. The NAGP registered an email it sent to over 100 Oireachtas members inviting them to join GPs on the national protest day it organised on 6 February. The statistics were correct when collated by MI on 20 May.

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