Health and care services

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Who’s who

Ministers (Caretaker)

Simon Harris, Minister for Health

First elected to the Dáil in General Election 2011, Minister Harris TD was re-elected in the 2016 General Election and subsequently appointed Minister for Health in May 2016. He was recently re-elected in February 2020 and currently serves as the caretaker Health Minister.

The Minister leads the Department of Health in serving the country, its people and the Government.

Finian McGrath, Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability Issues

Finian McGrath was first elected as an independent TD in in 2002 and was subsequently re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2016. Minister McGrath did not contest General Election 2020.

The Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability Issues is accountable for developing and articulating government policy on improving the lives of people with disabilities and their carers, the country, its people and the Government.

Catherine Byrne, Minister of State with special responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy

Catherine Byrne was first elected to the Dáil in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011 and 2016. Byrne lost her Dublin South Central seat in General Election 2020.

The Minister of State with special responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy is accountable for developing and articulating government policy on improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Ireland by promoting healthier lifestyles within society and encouraging people to make healthier choices around drug and alcohol use.

Jim Daly, Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People

Jim Daly was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011 and subsequently re-elected in 2016. Daly did not contest General Election 2020.

The Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People is accountable for developing and articulating government policy on improving the lives of older people, and on building and fostering positive mental health across the entire community, providing accessible, community-based, specialist services for people with mental illness.

Senior Management

Paul Bolger, Director, Resources Division

The Director of the Resources Division is responsible for:

  • ensuring that resources (current expenditure including pay, pensions and non-pay) are managed and planned efficiently and effectively across the health service; and
  • development and implementation of government policies on health expenditure, pay, employment levels, pensions and terms of employment in the public health service.

Jim Breslin, Secretary General of the Department of Health

The Secretary General of the Department of Health is responsible for:

  • managing the business generally of the Department;
  • implementing government policies appropriate to the Department;
  • monitoring government policies that affect the Department;
  • delivering outputs as determined by the Minister;
  • providing policy advice to the Minister on all matters within the remit of the Department;
  • preparing Statements of Strategy for submission to the Minister;
  • providing progress reports to the Minister on the implementation of the Statement of Strategy;
  • ensuring proper use of resources and the provision of cost-effective public services;
  • preparing an outline of how specific responsibilities are to be assigned to other officers down through the Department; and
  • managing matters relating to appointments, performance, discipline and dismissal of civil servants below the grade of principal or its equivalent.

Teresa Cody, Assistant Secretary, Corporate Division

The Assistant Secretary of the Corporate Division is responsible for:

  • strategic HR;
  • corporate services;
  • ICT;
  • parliamentary affairs and ministerial support;
  • legal unit;
  • communications unit; and
  • governance functions including business planning, risk and PMO.

Greg Dempsey, Deputy Secretary, Governance and Performance Division

The Deputy Secretary of the Governance and Performance Division is responsible for:

  • leading the performance dialogue with the HSE to identify priorities across all major policy and service delivery areas and to assess performance against targets;
  • coordinating and quality assuring governance arrangements for oversight of all agencies reporting to the Department of Health; and
  • clinical indemnity.

Fergal Goodman, Assistant Secretary, Primary Care Division

The Assistant Secretary of the Primary Care Division is responsible for:

  • policy on primary care as a major component of an integrated health service;
  • ensuring a cost-effective and sustainable approach to the use of pharmaceutical products in the Irish health system;
  • policy and legislation governing eligibility for health and personal social services;
  • ensuring the appropriate regulation of pharmaceutical products and pharmacy services, medical devices etcetera; and
  • statutory control of illegal drugs and analogous harmful substances.

Tracey Conroy, Assistant Secretary, Acute Care Division

The Assistant Secretary for the Acute Care division is responsible for:

  • developing and overseeing implementation of government policy in relation to acute hospital services as key elements of an integrated model of care for the health service.

Colm Desmond, Assistant Secretary Corporate Legislation, Mental Health, Drugs Policy and Food Safety Division

The Assistant Secretary Corporate Legislation, Mental Health, Drugs Policy and Food Safety Division is responsible for:

  • developing and overseeing implementation of policy in relation to mental health and ensuring an appropriate Mental Health Legal Framework is in place;
  • overseeing implementation of A Vision for Change in conjunction with the HSE and government departments;
  • implementation of Connecting for Life – Suicide Prevention Strategy 2015-2020;
  • overseeing implementation of the National Drugs Strategy – Reducing Harm Supporting Recovery a health-led approach to drug and alcohol use in Ireland including drugs and alcohol task forces;
  • managing and overseeing the development of an inclusion health policy, and services to address the health needs of socially excluded groups;
  • development of policy and legislation to address food safety and environmental health issues in conjunction with other government departments and agencies, including oversight of relevant agencies and transposition of EU legislation; and
  • oversight of certain cross-cutting corporate legislation for the Department.

Tony Holohan,
Chief Medical Officer

The Chief Medical Officer is responsible for:

  • provision of strategic leadership and evidence-based analysis and expert medical advice to the department, Government, broader health system and regulatory and professional bodies;
  • development of policy and legislation regarding patient safety and quality in health care; and
  • leading the development and coordination of health and wellbeing policy including the development of policy to address communicable diseases, obesity, rare diseases, non-communicable diseases, smoking, alcohol misuse and bioethical issues.

Kathleen MacLellan, Assistant Secretary, Social Care Division

The Assistant Secretary of the Social Care division is responsible for:

  • policy development and oversight of the provision of health and personal social services for people with a disability;
  • residential and community-based care and services for older people; and
  • palliative care.

Laura Magahy, Executive Director, Sláintecare Programme Office

The executive director of the Sláintecare Programme Office is responsible at a deputy secretary level for:

  • leading the Sláintecare Programme Office which supports and drives the delivery of the vision outlined in Sláintecare report. Including the development of a strategic and programmatic approach to the implementation and sequencing of reforms and develop detailed action plans, deliverables, costs and timelines for each area of reform.

Muiris O’Connor, Assistant Secretary, Research and Development and Health Analytics Division

The Assistant Secretary of the Research and Development and Health Analytics Division is responsible for:

  • leading the development of the knowledge management capability in the Department and the wider health services; and
  • ensuring that strategy and decision-making are more fully informed by evidence, research, information and innovation to support it in its health policy and performance oversight roles.

Colm O’Reardon, Deputy Secretary, Policy and Strategy Division

The Deputy Secretary of the Policy and Strategy Division is responsible for:

  • providing a key whole-of-department focus for policy and legislative reform;
  • ensuring effective coordination and integration across different Divisions of the Department in the context of framing strategies and policies outside of traditional care settings; and
  • consideration of a whole-of-system response to service users when developing policy.
Tags
Show More
Back to top button

eolas Magazine newsletter subscription

The eolas magazine digital edition is released each month – keeping you up to date with the latest political, public affairs and business developments. Subscribers will also receive announcements on upcoming conferences.

Close