07 Jul 2022

Six new Public Health Areas established paving way for Sláintecare Regional Health Areas

Donegal and Connacht will be new Area F (West North West)

Six new Public Health Areas established paving way for Sláintecare Regional Health Areas

Letterkenny University Hospital

Donegal has become part of six new Public Health Areas that have been established paving the way for the Sláintecare Regional Health Areas. They came into effect on May 1.  

This also marks the appointment of five Area Directors of Public Health at medical consultant grade, with the sixth expected to commence in the coming weeks.

Area F is where Donegal is to be located and is called West North West. It includes counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, and Galway (all of Connacht).

Dr Aine McNamara, Area Director of Public Health (Area F – West North West) said: 

“It is a very exciting time for Public Health. Over the past two years there has been a significant investment in strengthening our workforce.

"As we move forward with the implementation of reform, the new area structure will allow us to establish specialised teams to better protect health, profile the health needs of our communities, and tackle the most significant public health issues to help those in our areas to live healthier lives.” 

The HSE say this is a significant milestone in the history of the Public Health Medicine service in Ireland and marks an important turning point in the implementation of the fundamental reforms required to realise the vision of the new service delivery model.

The launch of the Public Health Area high level governance structure represents the first visible deliverable of reform. Over time, implementation of the Public Health Areas with consultant leadership for all domains of practice working in a multidisciplinary team will deliver significant measurable impact for the population’s health and the health service.

 Deirdre McNamara, Programme Director for Public Health Reform said: “The establishment of the Public Health Areas and Area leadership structure is the first critical step on the journey to transforming our Public Health medicine service to deliver better health and health services for our population. Our Public Health Teams have been at the forefront of pandemic response over the past few years and now they will be paving the way for the establishment of the Regional Health Areas and ensuring a strong focus on population health and prevention”.

Chief Clinical Officer, HSE, Dr Colm Henry said: “I wish our new Area Directors of Public Health every success in their new roles. I look forward to working them all to shape the future of our Public Health Areas over the months ahead to ensure a cohesive approach to service delivery across all Public Health Areas. Together we can build an agile, intelligence-led public health medicine service to protect and promote health, improve health services and tackle inequalities in health.”

The six RHAs will cover the following areas:

Area A: North Dublin, Meath, Louth, Cavan, and Monaghan;
Area B: Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Laois, Kildare, and parts of Dublin and Wicklow;
Area C: Tipperary South, Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow, part of South Dublin;
Area D: Kerry and Cork;
Area E: Limerick, Tipperary and Clare;
Area F: Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo, and Galway.
The six RHAs are further broken down into 96 Community Healthcare Networks (CHNs). CHNs deliver primary and community services to an average population of 50,000 people each.

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