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10/13/2016 12:00:00 AM


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Kennedy, Marcella Corcoran

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Financial Resolutions 2017

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Financial Resolution No. 2: General (Resumed)

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Financial Resolutions 2017\Financial Resolution No. 2: General (Resumed)

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Financial Resolution No. 2: General (Resumed)

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Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy)

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Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy)

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Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

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Snippet Contents:

Everyone is aware of the need to take more action to promote and improve health and well-being. It is clear from the results of the first wave of the Healthy Ireland survey launched late last year that there are many threats to the health and well-being of people living in Ireland. Obesity, tobacco consumption, alcohol abuse and physical inactivity rates are leading to increases in the levels of chronic conditions and putting a significant strain on the health service. I will launch the second round of results of the survey next week to build on the evidence available on the need to take action on this front. The results of the survey are assisting us in targeting actions to promote healthy lifestyles.
I am delighted that the increase in expenditure on health and well-being initiatives is 4.9%, versus an overall increase of 3% in the health budget. This shows that the Government understands the importance of prevention and is committed to helping people to stay healthy.
In 2017 we will commit €2.5 million to fund the continued extension of BreastCheck to all women aged 50 to 69 years on an incremental basis. That decision was made by the last Government and is being continued with by the Government. I am delighted that we are able to allocate €7.8 million for the expansion of the child vaccine programme to allow us to commence the rotavirus and meningitis B vaccines programme for newborns.
I welcome the increase in the price of tobacco products as this is positive for health and well-being and achieving our aim to have Ireland tobacco-free by 2025. While we have made significant progress in getting smoking rates into a downward trend, it is clear that we must continue to make progress. I recognise that many people are addicted to nicotine products. I also know that many of the people concerned wish to quit. I urge them to contact the HSE's QUIT service to avail of the supports available.
I look forward to having discussions with my officials and the HSE in the coming days and weeks to agree ways by which a range of priorities can be advanced in tackling obesity, physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol consumption levels, as well as promoting sexual health and childhood vaccination. I am particularly pleased with the establishment of the Healthy Ireland fund, a major initiative that will allow the Government to support innovative, cross-sectoral, evidence-based projects, programmes and initiatives that support implementation of key national policies on tackling obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption levels and promoting physical activity and sexual health. Healthy Ireland seeks to empower people and communities to improve their health and well-being. In that regard, the fund will make a real difference. It will help us to work with our partners in other Departments and agencies to provide appropriate support and guidance on how best to address these broad determinants of health.
I refer to the sugar and sweetened drinks levy, on which the Minister for Finance made a strong statement on its introduction following a public consultation process which will close on 9 January next year. A consultation paper was published on budget day, on which day the Department of Health also published the evidence that supported the policy which aimed to reduce consumption and effect behavioural change.