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No decision on new Healthy Ireland Council after term ended in May

The Healthy Ireland Council was appointed for three years from the end of May 2014 and came to an end over three months ago.

Chaired by former Rugby international Mr Keith Wood, the Council was a multi-stakeholder national forum with 35 members that sought to connect and mobilise the wider community with the Government’s flagship public health campaign, Healthy Ireland.

However, a Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that over three months since the first Council’s period came to an end, no decision has been taken on the membership of a new one.

The spokesperson added that there had been no decision on whether Mr Wood is expected to stay on as Chair, or if the first Council will just be reappointed.

“No decision has been made yet regarding the membership of the second Healthy Ireland Council,” the Department spokesperson told MI.

“However, it is intended to have a new Council in place in the coming months.  The first Council is no longer meeting.”

The Healthy Ireland Council established four sub-groups, each of which was made up solely of members of the Council and these are not currently meeting either.

Separately, a spokesperson for the Department confirmed to this newspaper that no decision has been made on the next topic of work for the National Advisory Committee on Bioethics (NACB).

This month marks two years since the NACB last met, when it concluded its last opinion document on the ethics of nudging.

“No decision has been made regarding the next topic on the work programme for the National Advisory Committee on Bioethics (NACB),” the spokesperson told MI.

“The NACB last met on 24 September 2015. Given that the topic of NACB’s next project has yet to be determined, no specific date has been selected for the NACB’s next meeting.”

The NACB was established in March 2012 by the then Minister for Health Dr James Reilly. The official task of the Committee is to advise the Minister for Health on the ethical and social implications of scientific developments in human medicine and healthcare.

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