Tuesday, 13 July 2021
Department of Health
156. To ask the Minister for Health the way the locations will be chosen for a disadvantaged area in which a special health strategy will be implemented; the method which will be adopted in those areas to maximise the impact on health inequalities; and when the first such programme will be put in place. [28088/21]
The Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme is a new initiative, led by Sláintecare and Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health, in partnership with cross-sectoral, national and local stakeholders.
The aim of the SHCP is to identify specific areas in which high risk factors to the health and wellbeing of the population are particularly prevalent due to deprivation, with a view to implementing targeted initiatives to tackle these challenges from within these communities. This will be achieved through partnership with a range of stakeholders and through the provision of dedicated services to build sustainable improvements in the health and wellbeing of those of all ages living in these communities through focusing on the determinants of health.
The criteria for the selection of areas for inclusion in the programme is based on the following:
- The Pobal Haase-Pratschke deprivation index relative score applied to Electoral District and on a Small Area basis with scores above -10
- Alignment with existing Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (SICAP) Lot areas
- The areas to be selected will also need to be contiguous and part of existing natural communities
Local Authorities will be consulted on the areas selected to validate selection and to ensure that the programme can be operationalised within them.
€10m was provided in Budget 2021 to support health and wellbeing interventions using an area-based approach to target health inequalities in the selected areas. These health-specific interventions are targeting smoking, social prescribing, parenting, healthy eating and "making every contact count" programmes to support healthy behaviours.
It is expected that programme delivery will commence in quarter three of 2021.