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More than €1.28 million spent on Healthy Ireland since its launch

Figures provided by the Department of Health show that €607,706 was spent in 2015, €586,470 was spent in 2014 and €89,315 was spent in 2013, the year Healthy Ireland was launched.

Despite a number of high-profile campaigns and initiatives, awareness among the public of Healthy Ireland is “modest”, research undertaken last summer found.

“Awareness of Healthy Ireland is quite modest (18 per cent) and highest amongst 25-34 year-olds,” concludes the research by DHR Communications, seen by this newspaper following a Freedom of Information request.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar told the Dáil last year that DHR Communications had been employed to help the development of the strategy to support communications of the Healthy Ireland Framework and toolkit for the Healthy Ireland Council.

“The total cost paid to DHR Communications for their work was €86,100. This is the ex-VAT contract price of €70,000 and VAT at 23 per cent (all paid in 2015),” a Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI).

Healthy Ireland’s National Physical Activity Plan was launched last week and a new obesity policy and action plan “is quite advanced” and “the expectation would be that it will be finalised in the first half of 2016,” the Department’s Director of the Health and Wellbeing Programme Ms Kate O’Flaherty told MI.

See feature pages 17-18

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