Press Release

Tánaiste establishes Regional Health Forums

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D. today laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas the Regulations providing for the establishment of 4 Regional Health Forums after 1st January next year and the Regulations setting out the Health Service Executive’s obligations in dealing with Dail Deputies and Senators.

The Forums will be made up of representatives of the city and county councils within the functional area of each Forum and will be able to make representations to the Health Service Executive on the range and operation of health and personal social services in their area.

The Regulations governing the Health Service Executive’s dealings with members of the Houses of the Oireachtas set out that the Executive must deal expeditiously with T.D.s’ and Senators’ correspondence and lists the documentation and information that the Executive must provide to them at their request.

In a statement today the Tánaiste said that the establishment of the Forums demonstrated the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the voice of local public representatives will continue to be heard in relation to the development of health and personal social services. She added that the Forums in reflecting the views of local public representatives would complement the role of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in the ongoing oversight of the health services.

The Tánaiste also said that the Regulations governing the Health Service Executive’s dealings with members of the Houses of the Oireachtas would put on a proper statutory basis the Health Service Executive’s arrangements for ensuring that Oireachtas members were facilitated properly in their role as public representatives. She pointed out that the establishment of a Parliamentary Affairs Division was identified among the priorities in the Health Service Executive’s Service Plan for 2005. She added that she was pleased with the progress made by the Executive in that regard during its first year and looked forward to the Executive’s ongoing development of this key accountability function.

Note for Editors:

Under section 42 of the Health Act 2004 the Minister for Health and Children shall establish up to 4 Regional Health Forums made up of representatives from the City and County Councils in their functional area. The function of the Forums is to make representations on the range and operation of health and personal social services in their area.

The Regulations specify:

  • the title of each forum and define its functional area;
  • the number of members for each forum;
  • the number of members from each city and county council to be nominated to each forum; and
  • the requirements relating to the manner in which the functions of a forum are to be performed.

They will also set out the procedures for:

  • appointing members to a forum;
  • the election of a chairperson and vice-chairperson of a forum;
  • filling of casual vacancies;
  • the meetings of a forum;

The 4 Forums and the number of nominees from each City and County Council are set out below:

Each city and county council has been allocated a number of representatives based on the range in which the population of its area falls into. The ranges are as follows:


Population Representatives
Up to 75,000 3
75,000-125,000 4
125,000-175,000 5
175,000-225,000 6
225,000-275,000 7
275,000-325,000 8
325,000+ 9
Regional Health Forum, Dublin-Mid Leinster No. of Council Members
Dublin City Council – rep. electoral areas of

Ballyfermot, Crumlin-Kimmage, Pembroke, Rathmines,

South-East Inner City and South-West Inner City

Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown County Council 6
Kildare County Council 5
Laois County Council 3
Longford County Council 3
Offaly County Council 3
South Dublin County Council 7
Westmeath County Council 3
Wicklow County Council 4
Total 40
Regional Health Forum, Dublin and North East No. of Council Members
Cavan County Council 3
Dublin City Council – rep. electoral areas of Artane, Ballymun- Whitehall,

Cabra-Glasnevin, Clontarf, Donaghmede, Finglas and North Inner City

Fingal County Council 6
Louth County Council 4
Meath County Council 5
Monaghan Co Council 3
Total 29
Regional Health Forum, South No. of Council Members
Carlow County Council 3
Cork City Council 4
Cork County Council 9
Kerry County Council 5
Kilkenny County Council 4
South Tipperary County Council 4
Waterford City Council 3
Waterford County Council 3
Wexford County Council 4
Total 39
Regional Health Forum, West No. of Council Members
Clare County Council 4
Donegal County Council 5
Galway City Council 3
Galway County Council 5
Leitrim County Council 3
Limerick City Council 3
Limerick County Council 4
Mayo County Council 4
North Tipperary County Council 3
Roscommon County Council 3
Sligo County Council 3
Total 40