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Govt initiative to improve our health
[Posted: Mon 13/06/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
A new initiative aimed at improving the nation's general standard of health has been launched today by the Minister for Health and three other ministers at a major conference in Dublin.
According to Health Minister James Reilly, the need for a new, enhanced public health policy is clear.
"It is a sobering thought that approximately two-thirds of chronic disease could be prevented if we just changed our lifestyle and avoided unnecessary risk factors."
The Minister said it's up to us as individuals to take responsibility for our life choices and it's also up to us as a society to make our environment safer and the right choice easier to make.
The Government is to draw up a high level policy framework for public health, covering the period from 2012 to 2020.
According to the Department of Health "it will bring reality to the provisions in the Programme for Government with regard to the health and wellbeing of the whole population."
"The policy framework will be Ireland's vision for a healthier population that is protected from public health threats, living in a healthier and more sustainable environment, with increased social and economic productivity and greater social inclusion , the Department said.
A working group chaired by the Chief Medical Officer of the Department, Dr Tony Holohan, has been set up to review and assess the current state of health in Ireland and internationally.
The group will draw up a strategy covering areas such as tackling chronic illness such as diabetes and heart disease health inequalities, lifestyle factors that lead to disease and protection from public health threats.
It is planned that the initial draft strategy report will be drawn up the end of September, with a finalised report ready by the end of the year.
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