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Department of Health (Northern Ireland)

The Department of Health (DoH, Irish: An Roinn Sláinte, Ulster-Scots: Männystrie o Poustie) is a devolved Northern Irish government department in the Northern Ireland Executive. The minister with overall responsibility for the department is the Minister of Health.

Department of Health
Department of Health NI Trilingual Logo.png
Department overview
FormedJune 1944 (as Ministry of Health and Local Government)
Preceding Department
JurisdictionNorthern Ireland
HeadquartersCastle Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast, BT4 3SJ
Employees731 (September 2011)[1]
Annual budget£4,383.1 million (current) & £200.5 million (capital) for 2011–12[2]
Minister responsible
  • office suspended
Websitewww.health-ni.gov.uk

Until 9 May 2016, the Department was previously called the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Irish: An Roinn Sláinte, Seirbhísí Sóisialta agus Sábháilteachta Poiblí).

Contents

AimEdit

DoH's overall aim and mission is to "improve the health and social well-being of the people of Northern Ireland."[3]

ResponsibilitiesEdit

The Minister, assisted by the department, makes policy and legislation in three broad areas:

Some sensitive health policy issues are reserved to Westminster and are therefore not devolved:[4]

In Northern Ireland, abortion law is a criminal justice matter and is devolved.[5]

DoH's main counterparts in the United Kingdom Government are:

In the Irish Government, its main counterparts are:

Health and Social Care organisationsEdit

HistoryEdit

Health policy in Northern Ireland was originally a responsibility of local government and the Ministry of Home Affairs, which (similarly to the Home Office) retained responsibility for policy areas not delegated to other ministries.

A separate Ministry of Health and Local Government was established in June 1944, as part of the welfare state. In January 1965, that department was divided between the Ministry of Development and the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The latter ministry was renamed as the Department of Health and Social Services under direct rule, introduced in March 1972. A health and social services ministry was also included in the Northern Ireland Executive briefly established in 1974. The department was responsible for social security policy and its initials DHSS are still used locally to describe benefits and benefit claimants.

Following a referendum on the Belfast Agreement on 23 May 1998 and the granting of royal assent to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 on 19 November 1998, a Northern Ireland Assembly and Northern Ireland Executive were established by the United Kingdom Government under Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In December 1999, the Department of Health and Social Services was renamed as the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. It gained responsibility for the Northern Ireland Fire Brigade from the Department of the Environment but ceded social security to the Department for Social Development. DHSSPS was therefore one of the six direct rule Northern Ireland departments to continue in existence following devolution, following the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and The Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999.

A devolved minister took office on 2 December 1999. Devolution was suspended for four periods, during which the department came under the responsibility of direct rule ministers from the Northern Ireland Office:

Since 8 May 2007, devolution has operated without interruption.

Ministers of HealthEdit

Minister Image Party Took office Left office
    Bairbre de Brún   Sinn Féin 2 December 1999 11 February 2000
Office suspended
    Bairbre de Brún   Sinn Féin 30 May 2000 14 October 2002[18]
Office suspended
    Michael McGimpsey   UUP 8 May 2007 5 May 2011
    Edwin Poots   DUP 16 May 2011 23 September 2014
    Jim Wells   DUP 23 September 2014 11 May 2015
    Simon Hamilton   DUP 11 May 2015 6 May 2016[note 1]
Office renamed Minister of Health
    Michelle O'Neill   Sinn Féin 25 May 2016 2 March 2017
Office suspended


Direct rule ministersEdit

During the periods of suspension, the following ministers of the Northern Ireland Office were responsible for the department:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Northern Ireland Quarterly Employment Survey Historical Data". Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Budget 2011–15" (PDF). Department of Finance and Personnel. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  3. ^ Northern Ireland Budget 2011–15, page 70
  4. ^ Northern Ireland Act 1998, Schedule 3
  5. ^ House of Commons, Written answers and statements, 13 July 2009
  6. ^ DH: About the Department of Health
  7. ^ Communities and Local Government: Fire and resilience
  8. ^ Department of Health: About the Department Archived 20 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Environment, Community and Local Government: Fire and Emergency Services Archived 27 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Commencement) Order 2000
  11. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2000
  12. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  13. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2001
  14. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  15. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) (No.2) Order 2001
  16. ^ Article 1, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Suspension of Devolved Government) Order 2002
  17. ^ Article 2, Northern Ireland Act 2000 (Restoration of Devolved Government) Order 2007
  18. ^ Office suspended for 24 hours on 11 August 2001 and 22 September 2001
  1. ^ Resigned on 10 September 2015, re-entered office on 16 Sept. till 17 Sept., then on the 23 Sept.-24 Sept, then 28 Sept.-29 Sept., then 30 Sept.-1 Oct. 2015. Following the 20 October he permanently occupies the office

External linksEdit