About us - Public Health

Who we are

There are six Public Health areas, one in each HSE Health Region, each providing Public Health expertise and services locally and nationally.

Each area is led by an Area Director of Public Health who is also a regional Medical Officer of Health.

Multidisciplinary services in areas are provided by a wide range of experts.

What we do

Public Health is “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting, protecting and improving health through the organised efforts of society” (Acheson, 1988).

Our multidisciplinary public health teams work to protect, support, enable and advise on the health and wellbeing of the population. We deliver our service across the 4 domains of public health:

  • Our health protection domain strives to provide an integrated, all-hazards health protection response, mandated by Medical Officer of Health (MOH) legislation, with clear health area and national responsibilities for service provision. It comprises regional health protection services across all hazards and the following national programmes: Health Protection Threat; Acute Health Protection Operations Response; Health Protection Surveillance & Epidemic Intelligence; Immunisations; and Health Protection Support Functions.
  • Our health improvement domain seeks to improve health and wellbeing by improving the socioeconomic, physical and cultural environment, including sustainable development, and by influencing behaviour. This domain is based on the  Healthy Ireland, A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing for action to improve the health and wellbeing of the population in Ireland.
  • Our health service improvement domain aims to prevent disease and improve health-related outcomes through the design, use and evaluation of effective and efficient healthcare interventions including review of access and pathways of care. Such work will include population health needs assessment, population-focused health service prioritisation, Models of Care, health service implementation, and supporting Integrated Care Programmes for population cohorts and priority populations.
  • Our health intelligence domain focuses on using population health surveillance, monitoring trends, and using an evidence-based assessment of policies, programmes, and services to inform health service planning, prioritisation, evaluation and public health action. Public Health will provide collective leadership to build, shape and harness the health information ecosystem to inform and influence decisions for better health at all levels of the health system.