Global Health Programme

The HSE Global Health Programme was established in June 2010 when the HSE signed a memo of understanding (MOU) with Irish Aid, the official Government aid programme.

The main rationale for the programme is that the least developed countries have great health needs with high rates of infectious and non-communicable diseases and high child and maternal mortality. The HSE can support these countries to strengthen their health services and improve health outcomes. There are also reciprocal benefits to our own health service through learning from other countries as we share many of the health challenges.  It also benefits our health security in Ireland if we help tackle global threats in other countries, such as the recent Ebola outbreak.

Omdurman Maternity Hospital, supported through partnership with Cork University Maternity Hospital

The main goal of the programme is to make an effective contribution towards improving health in less developed countries. Our main resource is the experience and expertise of our staff. Our main strategy is to facilitate linkages between Irish hospitals/health institutions and similar institutions in other countries. Funding for projects and activities is raised from other sources and does not come from the HSE budget.

The programme is situated within the National Quality Improvement Team and builds on many initiatives already undertaken by health staff. These range from providing support for hospitals in other countries to individuals who go overseas for development projects or following humanitarian disasters. The Programme Lead is Dr David Weakliam, Consultant in Public Health Medicine.

The Technical Advisory Group members are:

  • Philip Crowley, Chair
  • Patrick Lynch
  • Diarmuid O’Donovan
  • Margaret Fitzgerald
  • Norah Mason
  • Laura Monaghan

For more information you can contact the programme at

Let us know if you would like your details to be added to a contact list so you can receive email updates about the programme.

International health and development training for healthcare workers - October 2017

An introductory training workshop is being organised by the Health Service Executive Global Health Programme, NUI Galway, Comhlámh, the Irish Forum for Global Health, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, University College Dublin, and ESTHER Ireland, with support from Irish Aid.

This two and a half day residential training workshop will be held at the Achill Outdoor Education Centre on Achill Island from Friday 13 – Sunday 15 October 2017.

The training workshop is designed for anyone working in any part of the Irish health service who is interesting in working in healthcare in less highly-developed countries, along with those who have a general interest in the field of global health.

Application information will be available shortly at  

For more information view the Health Development Training flyer (PDF).

International health and development training for healthcare workers newsletter - Achill 2018

Achill training weekend summary newsletter - October 2017

Global Health humanitarian and development workshop 21st - 23rd June, 2019

Global Health Programme Survey 2012

A survey was undertaken among health service staff in 2012. The HSE's Global Health Programme undertook the survey of health service personnel to quantify their experience and interest in linking with developing world organisations. The survey specifically requested responses on how Irish healthcare institutions could create effective and sustainable partnerships with similar ones in the developing world.

Global Health Programme Survey results 2013

The report demonstrates that there is considerable interest and capacity within the Irish health service to support less developed countries. This can best be facilitated through partnerships involving hospitals and other health institutions, which can be implemented without diverting any resources from critical services here in Ireland.

You can access more information about the Global Health Programme through the following links: