Health Services

The Government, the Minister for Health and Children and the Department of Health and Children are at the head of health service provision in Ireland. The Department’s primary role is to support the Minister in formulating and evaluating policies for the health services. The Department also has a role in the strategic planning of health services in consultation with the Health Service Executive (HSE), the voluntary sector, other government departments and other interests.

What is the Health Service Executive (HSE)?

The HSE consists of nine sections (called Directorates) but the main ones from a user point of view are:

  • Primary, Continuing and Community Care (PCCC): responsible for GP and community based health and personal social services. Includes services for older people, children, disability services, etc.
  • National Hospitals Office: responsible for the acute public hospitals in Ireland.
  • Population Health: involved in health promotion and protection of the health of various groups.
How is the Health Service Executive (HSE) organised?

While the HSE has overall responsibility for the delivery of public health services, the main delivery point for health services in your area is through the network of Local Health Offices and local health centres. There is anetwork of 32 Local Health Offices located around Ireland.

Your Local Health Office is the entry point to community health and personal social services. The wide range of services that are provided through Local Health Offices and from health centres include general practitioner services, public health nursing, child health service, community welfare, chiropody, ophthalmic, speech therapy, social work, addiction counselling and treatment, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychiatric services and home help.

Health Agencies

An Bord Altranais (The Nursing Board)

The Nursing Board regulates the nursing profession. It maintains a register of qualified nurses and organises the education and training of nurses.

Crisis Pregnancy Agency

The Crisis Pregnancy Agency is responsible for preparing a strategy to address the problem of crisis pregnancy in Ireland.

An Bord Uchtála (The Adoption Board)

The Adoption Board is responsible for making adoption orders. Voluntary adoption societies must be registered with the Board.

Board for the Employment of the Blind

This Board provides employment for a number of blind and visually impaired people.

Board for the Employment of the BlindDavitt RoadGoldenbridgeDublin 12.Tel: (01) 455 9570Fax: (01) 455 794

Bord na Radharcmhastóirí (The Opticians Board)

The Opticians Board is the regulatory body for opticians.

Bord na Radharcmhastóirí (The Opticians Board)18 Fitzwilliam SquareDublin 2.Tel: (01) 676 7416Fax: (01) 662 1051

National Cancer Screening Service

King’s Inns House200 Parnell StreetDublin 1Tel: (01) 865 9300Fax: (01) 865 9333Email:

National Hospitals Office (formerly known as Comhairle na nOispideal)

This is the statutory body responsible for regulating the number and type of consultant and senior registrar appointments in public hospitals, specifying the necessary qualifications for these posts, advising the Minister for Health and Children on the organisation and operation of hospital services and publishing reports on such services.

Dental Council

This is the regulatory body for the dental profession. Its functions include maintaining a register of dentists and dental specialists, ensuring that the standards of dental training are maintained and inquiring into the fitness of a dentist to practice on specific grounds.

57 Merrion SquareDublin 2.Tel: (01) 676 2069Fax: (01) 676 2076

Drug Treatment Centre Board

Aims are the prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare programmes for out-patients and in-patients in order to minimise the harmful effects of drug addiction and prevent the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases.

Trinity Court30-31 Pearse StreetDublin 2.Tel: (01) 6488 600Fax: (01) 6488 700

Food Safety Authority of Ireland

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland co-ordinates the different food safety control activities and provides advice on issues relating to safety, nutrition, food law and other matters regarding the processing and sale of food.

Health Service Executive

The Health Service Executive is a statutory body, which assumed full operational responsibility for running the Ireland’s health and personal social services in 2005.

Hospitals Trust Board

The Hospitals Trust Board administers the Hospitals Trust Fund.

Hospitals Trust BoardBank of IrelandHead OfficeLower Baggot StreetDublin 2.Tel: (01) 604 3629Fax: (01) 661 5992

Irish Blood Transfusion Service

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service organises and administers the national blood transfusion service, including the processing and supply of blood and blood products to hospitals. It also operates the National Haemovigilance Office, the Irish Unrelated Bone Marrow Registry and the National Tissue Bank.

National Council on Ageing and Older People

The National Council on Ageing and Older People advises the Minister for Health and Children on all aspects of ageing and older people.

National Children’s Advisory Council

This Council advises the Minister for Health and Children on all aspects of children’s lives and on better delivery and co-ordination of services to children, contributes to monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the National Children’s Strategy, undertakes and advises on research and advises on the development of mechanisms to consult with children.

National Children’s Advisory Council3rd Floor94 St. Stephen’s GreenDublin 2Tel: (01) 418 0582Fax: (01) 418 0819

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