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The delay in the publication of the Framework has been criticised by some observers, including the membership of the Oireachtas Committee on the Future of Healthcare.
In the Committee’s final Sláintecare report, there was praise for the aims of the Healthy Ireland public health initiative, but sharp criticism of the failure to publish specific timelines and measurable goals and an ‘Outcomes Framework’.
Healthy Ireland was launched in 2013, and the Sláintecare report was published in May 2017.
However a spokesperson for the Department of Health told the Medical Independent (MI) that progress is being made.
“The development of the Healthy Ireland Outcomes Framework is nearing completion and a first version is due for publication in Q1 2018,” the spokesperson told MI.
“This Framework development, to monitor and drive the achievement of Healthy Ireland’s targets and performance indicators, is a key action identified in Healthy Ireland.
“The reporting mechanisms require a structured approach to collect and report relevant and appropriate data which can be used to build awareness of these social determinants of health and to monitor progress on the whole-of-Government response needed to improve health and wellbeing through action on these social determinants.
“The Outcomes Framework provides this structured approach. It is a tool to assess and report (through a set of indicators) on progress being made in the implementation of Healthy Ireland.”
A Department spokesperson has also told this newspaper that an announcement about the membership and structure of the next Healthy Ireland Council is expected to be made shortly by Minister for Health Simon Harris.