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Country/JA: Ireland flag Ireland
Action type: Legal framework

Problem: It takes a “whole of Government” and “whole of society” approach to improving health and wellbeing, which is based on international experience and thinking in addressing the broad social determinants of health.

Objective: Healthy Ireland, a Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013-2025, was launched in March 2013, as a national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the country over the coming generation.

Implementation status: Implementation is complete and programme is ongoing

Key Contextual Factors

  • Healthy Ireland is implemented by the Department of Health in partnership with the Health Service Executive (HSE), other Government Departments and State Agencies, local authorities and the academic sector.

Key Components/Steps

  • Since the publication of the Healthy Ireland Framework in 2013, further policies have been developed under its umbrella, to address specific public health priorities, and to reduce the risks of chronic disease.
  • These include the National Obesity Policy and Action Plan, the National Physical Activity Plan, the National Sexual Health Strategy and the National Skin Cancer Prevention Plan.
  • Further supports for implementation have also been put in place; these include a national Healthy Ireland Citizen Engagement and Communications Campaign, the Healthy Ireland Fund and support for data collection and our Evidence Base through the Outcomes Framework and Healthy Ireland Survey.

Main Impacts

  • Healthy Ireland policies are monitored and evaluated through reviews, progress report and other metrics. Supports for data collection and our Evidence Base are provided through the Outcomes Framework, Healthy Ireland Survey and the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Study. Healthy Ireland also provides supports for surveys led by partners, such as Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity (CSPPA), led by Sport Ireland.
  • The programme has improved individual awareness of health and wellbeing, access to more supports for healthy living through public awareness campaigns such as the current “Keep Well” campaign and through other supports provided through partnership.
  • The programme has reduced the burden of ill health on both individuals and society as a whole; an aim that is of particular relevance given rapidly ageing demographics.
  • Data shows that clear progress has been made on reducing smoking and inactivity and in tackling obesity and excessive alcohol consumption (

Lessons Learned

  • A clear success has been the partnership approach, tacking broad societal issues that are beyond the capacity of the health sector alone to resolve. An example has been the recent Keep Well campaign that provides supports for resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, involving the sports and arts sectors and local authorities in addition to the health sector. The recent Operation Transformation programme, led by Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ – State Broadcaster) with sponsorship from Healthy Ireland, has reached hundreds of thousands of people.
  • Based on progress that has been made, the Framework will shortly be refreshed through the new Healthy Ireland Strategic Action Plan, which will be published imminently, setting out a roadmap for further progress from 2021-2025

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