The Directorate of Health

Barónsstígur 47

The Directorate of Health is a government agency headed by the Director of Health. Its principal role is to promote high-quality and safe health care for the people of Iceland, health promotion, and effective disease prevention measures.

Its activities are set out in the Medical Director of Health and Public Health Act, No. 41/2007, as well as in other provisions of law and regulations. See more.

In accordance with the objectives of the above law, the vision of the Directorate of Health is as follows:

  • Health and well-being based on health promotion, disease prevention as well as accessible and safe health care supported by the best knowledge and experience available at any given time.

The Directorate of Health has adopted the following values to guide its employees in all their work:

  • Accountability – Respect – Trust

Management and organisation

The present Director of Health is Birgir Jakobsson, MD, PhD, who took office on 1 January 2015. He is the 17th holder of the office since the establishment of the Directorate of Health in 1760. The Directorate operates under the authority of the Ministry of Welfare.

The Management consists of six Heads of Division as well as the Director of Health.
For more, see: General information and management.

See also:

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Main functions of the Directorate of Health 

According to the latest amendments of the Director of Health and Public Health Act, No. 41/2007, the scope of the Directorate of Health was extended in 2011 to include public health measures and health promotion, in addition to its former functions. Among its present functions are:

  • To advise the Minister of Welfare and other Government bodies, health professionals and the public on matters concerning health, disease prevention and health promotion.
  • To sponsor and organise public health initiatives.
  • To promote improvements of health care quality.
  • To supervise the health care services and health care professionals.
  • To monitor prescription medicines and promote their prudent use.
  • To collect and process data on health and health care services and promote research in that field.
  • To handle complaints from health care users.
  • To issue licences to practise to health care professionals and ensure that their education meets requirements at all times.

More information in English on this web site 

On the menu to the left you can access web pages containing information on the staff, some Icelandic health statistics, the National Childhood Vaccination Programme as well as the newsletter EPI-ICE, some statutes of interest available in English and other publications

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Last updated 31.08.2016