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Policy Information

Healthy Ireland Policies

Published: 4 April 2019
From: Healthy Ireland and Department of Health

Healthy Ireland Framework

The Healthy Ireland Framework was launched in 2013 and articulates four central goals for improved health and wellbeing:

  • increase the proportion of people who are healthy at all stages of life
  • reduce health inequalities
  • protect the public from threats to health and well being
  • create an environment where every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland

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Physical activity

The National Physical Activity Plan creates increased opportunities for people to be active in ways which fit in to everyday lives and which suits individual needs, circumstances and interests.

It does this by:

  • removing the barriers which people face to being active and encouraging people to recognise how to overcome those barriers
  • enhancing cross-sectoral cooperation at national, local and community level to encourage physical activity at every level
  • encouraging a supportive environment where physical activity becomes normal
  • promoting good practice and finding new models of participation which get more people active

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Obesity

It is well established that obesity and being overweight is a significant problem in Ireland. Tackling this complex issue requires multi-agency, multi-level and coordinated approaches.

Ireland's National Obesity Policy and Action Plan aims to reverse obesity trends, to prevent health complications and reduce the overall burden for individuals, families, the health system and the wider society and economy.

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Smoking

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Ireland. Each year at least 5,500 people die from diseases caused by tobacco use.

The Tobacco Free Ireland strategy was launched in October 2013. It sets a target for Ireland to have a smoking prevalence rate of less than 5% by 2025, effectively making the country a tobacco free society.

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Alcohol

Alcohol affects your body and brain, increases many health risks and can damage your mental health.

The misuse of alcohol and harmful patterns of drinking not only include negative effects on the health of those drinking too much, but also cause harm to families and society as a whole.

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Sexual health

The National Sexual Health Strategy 2015 – 2020 is a strategic framework for the sexual health and wellbeing of the Irish population.

This Strategy’s vision is that everyone in Ireland experiences positive sexual health and well being and has access to high quality sexual health information, education and services.

It takes a life course approach to sexual health which acknowledges the importance of developing healthy sexuality throughout childhood and adolescence and builds on that foundation for positive sexual health and well being into adulthood and older age.

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Skin cancer

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland. Over 11,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually. This is twice the number compared to 10 years ago and is projected to more than double again by 2043. Yet most skin cancers could be prevented.

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The Healthy Ireland Survey

The Healthy Ireland Survey is an annual interviewer-administered face-to-face survey commissioned by the Department of Health. It is part of the Healthy Ireland Framework 2019-2025 to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Ireland.

The objectives of this survey are to:

  • provide and report on current and credible data in order to enhance the monitoring and assessment of the various policy initiatives under the Framework
  • support and enhance Ireland’s ability to meet many of its international reporting obligations
  • feed into the Outcomes Framework for Healthy Ireland and contribute to assessing, monitoring and realising the benefits of the overall health reform strategy
  • allow targeted monitoring where necessary, with an outcomes-focused approach, leading to enhanced responsiveness and agility from a policy-making perspective
  • support the Department of Health in ongoing engagement and awareness-raising activities in the various policy areas and support better understanding of policy priorities

Healthy Ireland Survey documents

Healthy Ireland Outcomes Framework

The Healthy Ireland Outcomes Framework has been developed to monitor and drive the achievement of Healthy Ireland’s targets and performance indicators.

The Outcomes Framework is based on a conceptual model for health and wellbeing which incorporates health status, health outcomes and determinants of health and wellbeing across the life.

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