The HSE’s public health service protects and promotes the health of the Irish population, contributes effectively to major service design and policy implementation, strives to address health inequalities, and ensures a population needs based approach to integrated healthcare delivery.
The public health service is delivering on a programme of strategic structural reform to implement a new, consultant-delivered service delivery model aligned to international best practice. The enhanced service delivery model introduces a strong public health function strategically aligned within the HSE and to healthcare delivery structures.
The model radically changes the governance and operating structure within public health, introducing a more fit-for-purpose national and area management structure, with strong clinical leadership across each of the pillars of public health practice. The model seeks to rebalance capacity to deliver effectively across all four domains of public health: Health Protection, Health Intelligence, Health Service Improvement and Health and Wellbeing. The model seeks to optimise the contribution of consultant expertise to deliver greater impact across an expanded remit of service provision. Under the new model, Consultants in Public Health Medicine (CPHM) will lead appropriately resourced multidisciplinary teams including, for example: surveillance scientists/epidemiologists, senior medical officers, research, and information staff, administrative and, crucially, robust operations and management support.
Working through and leading multidisciplinary teams, with the authority, autonomy and responsibility delegated by the MOH statutory function, consultants in public health within the health areas play a key strategic and leadership role in protecting the population from threats to health, while also promoting health and wellbeing within the health area.