The Government, the Minister for Health and the Department of Health are at the head of the health service. The Department's main role is to support the Minister and Minister of State in the development and implementation of policy for the health services. It also monitors the performance of health services.
Health services are delivered by the Health Service Executive (HSE).
The Minister for Health has overall constitutional and political responsibility for the Department.
There is a Minister of State assigned to the Department with responsibility for Mental Health, Primary Care and Social Care.
The administrative (Civil Service) head of the Department is the Secretary General. He or she is the "accounting officer". In other words, he or she is responsible to the Dáil for ensuring that the money allocated to the Department is spent in the proper manner.
The Chief Medical Officer advises the Minister, Minister of State, and the Department on medical issues and also has responsibility for patient safety and quality, clinical effectiveness, health protection and promotion, tobacco control policy, health and wellbeing, social inclusion and bioethics.
There are nine divisions in the Department with different policy or administrative functions. Each division is comprised of a number of units with specific areas of responsibility.
Tel:+353 1 635 4000
Locall:1890 200 311
Fax:+353 1 635 4001
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.