Department of Health Secretary General, Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin appealed to all health managers present to commit to achieving a tobacco free Ireland as soon as possible, when he performed the official opening of the 3rd HMI Annual Conference.
“Here today, I am speaking to the best and the brightest across the health system. You are all leaders and I am asking everybody in the health system to commit to this project. Please initiate discussions about a tobacco free Ireland. We also need to have a dialogue about the use of alcohol and the need to promote physical activity,” he said.
“We have got to focus on the health of our people. A healthy Ireland is about a healthy home, a healthy street, a healthy town, a healthy region and a healthy nation.This is a brand that will help the people we serve and it will also help us to grow jobs.”
Dr. McLoughlin said that the health services were pushing ahead with reform. The Haddington Road Agreement was critical to this and he said he wanted to thank all managers in the health service for the contribution they had made by supporting it.
“It was very difficult to ask people to dip into their wallets again to help this country through its most critical challenge of restoring economic sovereignty.”
He said that the hospital groups, which were now being formed, were critical to the future of the health system It was also planned to develop primary care academic centres linked to other healthcare facilities.
“For the first time, the Government has also decided to bring the university system into the health system as a partner. This is vital as it will allow us to engage with high tech industry in a serious way and develop new relationships.”