Official Launch of the Midlands Louth Meath CHO’s Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan - August 2018

Catherine Byrne, TD, Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, launched the Healthy Ireland implementation plan of the Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) on Thursday, 19th July.  The aim of the plan is to support and empower service users, staff, communities and the wider population of Louth, Meath, Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath to improve their health and wellbeing and to achieve their fullest health potential. 


The Midlands Louth Meath CHO’s Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan is a five year plan (2018-2022) and sets out the CHO’s commitment to implement 117 actions that encourage people living in the CHO area to lead healthier lifestyles and to make positive lifestyle changes to support their health at every stage of their life - from pre-natal, through early childhood, adolescence, adulthood and into old age.

The health and wellbeing of the population is changing and there are many trends leading us towards an unhealthy and costly future. 


  • 49% of Ireland people over 50 have one chronic disease and 18% have more than one
  • 1 in every 10 people over 50 years of age has diabetes
  • The major chronic diseases will increase by 20% to 30% in the next five years
  • 1 in 5 of us will experience mental health problems in our lifetime and
  • 36,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year.


Chronic diseases, comprising of cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes, are the leading cause of mortality in the world.  In Ireland, these illnesses account for approximately 76% of deaths.



Speaking at the launch, Pat Bennett, Chief Officer, Midlands Louth Meath CHO, stated that:

"we need to address these negative health trends before our problems grow larger.  An overwhelming body of evidence has established that many chronic diseases are attributable to a number of known and preventable risk factors such as smoking, obesity, alcohol and drug misuse, physical inactivity and poor diet.  This plan offers the CHO an opportunity to focus on actions that the CHO can take to improve health and wellbeing, actions that focus on the prevention of ill health, rather than simply on treatment."


Fiona Murphy, Head of Health and Wellbeing for the Midlands Louth Meath CHO, said that ‘supporting staff to improve their health and wellbeing is also a key priority of this plan.  There is a need to support staff to be both health and wellbeing champions for their own benefit and to influence the health and wellbeing of people living in the CHO area. 


Building and strengthening partnerships to improve health and wellbeing will be a key enabler to the successful implementation of the CHO’s Healthy Ireland plan.   The HSE’s National Director for Strategic Planning and Transformation, Dr Stephanie O’Keeffe, speaking at the launch, said ‘ The Healthy Ireland Framework recognises the key role that we in the Health Service have – we must assume both a stewardship and advocacy role to support other sectors in pursuing health and wellbeing goals.  Health Sector Policy now and indeed into the future with Sláintecare continues to ensure that Health and Wellbeing is a core pillar of reform. The launch of this plan today is a further milestone in the roll-out of the Healthy Ireland Framework with plans launched for 5 Hospital Groups and three other CHOs. Through the implementation of the 117 actions in this plan this CHO will be an agent of profound change to improve the health and wellbeing of the population it serves.


Launching this Healthy Ireland implementation plan today, Minister Byrne said "Improving health and wellbeing, and preventing ill health often comes down to people making changes in their lifestyles – some small, some not so small, but it also requires changes to the things that we sometimes don’t have the power to change alone. This plan commits to making that happen with high level actions focused on building a healthy childhood and supporting people in improving their health and wellbeing as they grow older.

Read the Midlands Louth Meath CHO’s Healthy Ireland Implementation Plan.

Last updated on: 07 / 08 / 2018