Department of Health


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 Ministers 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).

Brexit update

The Department of Health has produced a Brexit Contingency and Preparedness Update.

It confirms that Irish citizens and British citizens who live in, work in, or visit the other state will continue to have the right to access healthcare there. This will apply regardless of whether there is a deal or not.

Both the Irish and UK Governments are committed to continuing existing cross-border health services. These can be expected to continue even if there is no Brexit deal.

Organisation of the Department

The Minister for Health has overall constitutional and political responsibility for the Department.

There are 3 Ministers of State assigned to the Department with responsibility for:

  • Disabilities
  • Health promotion and the National Drugs Strategy
  • Mental health and older people

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.

Read more about the Department of Health, including the organisation structure. There are a number of divisions within the Department that each have a different policy or administrative function. Each division is comprised of a number of units with specific areas of responsibility.

Where to apply

Department of Health

Block 1
Miesian Plaza
50-58 Lower Baggot Street
Dublin 2
D02 XW14

Tel: +353 1 635 4000
Page edited: 13 March 2019