Ministers for Health establish Public Health Reform Expert Advisory Group

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A Public Health Reform Expert Advisory Group has been established to identify learning from the public health components of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland.

Its objective is to strengthen health protection generally and our preparedness for future public health pandemics specifically.

The Expert Group will also identify lessons from international best practice regarding reform and strengthening of other core public health functions, including the promotion of health and wellbeing, population health research and health intelligence and health service improvement.

The Expert Group will examine the key components of the existing delivery model(s) for public health in Ireland, with a view to recommending an appropriate operating model to develop and oversee the delivery of Public Health in Ireland into the future. 

Its establishment was announced by Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly and Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan.

The Department of Health said this multifaceted operating model would seek to ensure that whole-of-government and cross-agency arrangements were such as to ensure: 

  • The optimum prevention and control of infectious diseases and other health threats.
  • Alignment of core public health functions, including the promotion of health and wellbeing, population health research and health intelligence and health service improvement.
  • Alignment across local and national Government and across public and third sectors such that every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a healthy Ireland.
  • Participation of Ireland in the future development and strengthening of a European Health Union.

Membership of the Expert Group consists of national and international experts with experience across a range of key domains, including: public health, health protection, epidemiology, senior public health service leadership, change management and risk and evidence communication. 

It is chaired by Prof. Hugh Brady, President-designate of Imperial College London, current Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol and former President of University College Dublin. 

It held its initial meeting in January 2022 and will produce a final report, which will be submitted to the Minister for Health, by mid-2022

 Membership of the Group is as follows;

 Public Health Reform – Expert Advisory Group Members
Name: Title/Role:
Chair: Prof Hugh BradyPresident-designate Imperial College London, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol
Dr Helen BevanChief Transformation Officer, NHS Horizons
Prof Hannah McGeeDean, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, RCSI
Prof Jaap T. Van DisselDirector of the RIVM Centre for Infectious Disease Control, Netherlands
Prof Johan GieseckeProfessor Emeritus at the Karolinska Institute Medical University in Stockholm. Vice Chair of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards (WHO)
Prof Peter PiotFormer Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Handa Professor of Global Health
Prof Yvonne DoyleMedical Director and Director for Health Protection for Public Health England
Dr Tracey CooperChief Executive Officer, Public Health Wales and former head of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA)
Dr Alexandra FreemanExecutive Director, Winton Centre for Risk & Evidence Communication
Prof Cecily KelleherCollege Principal, Winton Centre for Risk & Evidence Communication
Prof Patricia FitzpatrickProfessor of Epidemiology & Biomedical Statistics, and Head of Subject for Public Health at University College Dublin
Dr Sinéad HanafinVisiting Research Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin
Dr Tadhg CrowleyGeneral Practitioner and Associate Clinical Professor, University College Dublin