Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Frank O'Donovan


The purpose of this thesis is to analyse how the HSE South handled the Swine Flu pandemic. This was largely focused on how the HSE communicated with their publics as well as how they carried out such a large public information campaign. It is also important to understand how the public felt about the management of this pandemic. This thesis was dependant on interviewing various individuals from relevant backgrounds. This included PR and communication personnel employed by the HSE, representative of the media and health care professionals who deal directly with different communities within the general public. The objectives of this thesis are to establish how the HSE carried out such a large public infonnation campaign, in relation to the swine flu pandemic and to investigate how the HSE not only communicated with their publics but also how effective those methods of communication used were. It also aims to analyse how the HSE handled the pandemic in regards to their efforts made in addressing the pandemic and to examine the overall opinions of interviewees. To conclude this thesis will portray how communication methods are practised in the health care sector. It will analyse the HSE’s ability to deal with pandemics, which are liable to occur at any time, and how the HSE informed their publics in relation to these pandemics. Whilst investigating the HlNl pandemic in particular it was found that the HSE had dealt with this pandemic in a much more organised and detailed fashion than had been acknowledged by the media. The author also makes recommendations based on the research carried out and literature studied. One of the primary recommendations involves the use of social media tools in such pandemics.

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