The Cabinet has approved a major shake-up of the structure of the Health Service Executive (HSE).
It will see it split back up into six regional health boards, as part of the implementation of SláinteCare.
The idea is to give more power and autonomy to individuals in the health service at a local level.
At the moment, community healthcare and hospital care are delivered separately with separate budgets.
The HSE says the next step in developing these regions will involve "a lot of consultation with staff, and with patients and stakeholders."
This will happen later this year and into mid-2020.
The regions will be known as Areas A, B, C, D, E and F.
Area A will include Dublin North, Meath, Louth, Cavan and Monaghan.
Area B will be made up of the most counties: a part of Dublin South, Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and Longford.
Area C will provide services for part of Dublin South, as well as Wicklow, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary South and Waterford.
Cork and Kerry are classified as Area D, while Area E is made up of Limerick, Tipperary North and Clare.
And Area F will provide services to Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Donegal.
Paul Reid, HSE CEO, has welcomed the announcement by Health Minister Simon Harris.
"The agreement of the six new health regions is an important step in improving our health service, for everyone living in Ireland.
"We want people to be able to get the health services they need, as close to people's homes as possible, with the majority of care delivered in the community and not in acute hospitals", he says.
"The new health regions are an important step in enabling us to plan and provide better healthcare.
"By aligning our services geographically, it means health service staff can plan hospital and community services together, and this helps provide more integrated care at both regional and local level."
Launching the new structures of the HSE Health Minister Simon Harris says no one believes the healthcare system can continue as it is and be successful pic.twitter.com/D0zPDN7NCz
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) July 17, 2019
He adds: "The new health regions will have greater autonomy to plan for, manage and deliver services based on the needs of the people they serve".
Minister Harris says it is part of a wider change being brought under Sláintecare.
"I think it's fair to say - we've got to be honest with each other - nobody believes that the HSE can continue in the way that it is.
"Patients don't believe it, staff don't believe it, I don't believe it.
"We need less bureaucracy, we need more accountability - and crucially, we need fewer layers between the patient and the health service".
The Government has published a Q&A document on the new plans here