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HIQA advise NPHET not to reduce current minimum age for mask wearing

HIQA has advised the national public health emergency team (NPHET) that the current minimum age for mask wearing in the community should not be reduced. HIQA’s Chief Scientist, Dr Conor Teljeur, said: “The use of layered mitigation measures in schools and childcare facilities, such as physical distancing, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, increased ventilation, and, most importantly,…

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Consultants urgently needed to address waiting list backlog – IHCA

The IHCA has urged Government to permanently fill more than 740 vacant consultant posts in hospitals nationally to help address patient waiting lists. In a stark warning, the Association claimed it could be up to 14 years or mid-2027 before outpatient waiting lists and backlogs are cleared unless action is taken. More than 907,000 patients…

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GPs to receive Covid booster vaccines at end of the month

GPs are to begin receiving Covid-19 booster vaccines for the over 80s from 27 September,  the IMO has told members.  In an update to GPs on 14 September on influenza flu vaccine arrangements, the Organisation said further details about the Covid-19 booster programme would be released to GPs in the coming days.  Influenza vaccines will start being delivered…

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Doctors share anguish over prolonged suspension of Council exam

International doctors living in Ireland have spoken to the Medical Independent (MI) about their deep upset and frustration waiting for the Medical Council to resume a key exam required for registration, which has been suspended since March 2020 following the onset of Covid-19. PRES 3 assesses clinical skills and is a requirement for many international…

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ICGP sustainability group welcomes announcement on coal and coal-based products

Chair of the ICGP sustainability working group Dr Sean Owens has welcomed Minister for the Environment Eamon Ryan’s recent announcement that strict standards regarding the sale of coal, coal-based products and any manufactured solid fuel or peat briquettes will come into effect in 2022.  Dr Owens said: “The size of particles is directly linked to…

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New national clinical guideline on adult sepsis published

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has welcomed the publication of a new and fully updated national clinical guideline to help healthcare professionals recognise and treat sepsis and septic shock in patients. Today is World Sepsis Awareness Day. This initiative was led by a group from the HSE National Clinical Programme on Sepsis and supported by…

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Minister cites ‘remarkable’ progress under Sláintecare

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has published the latest Sláintecare mid-year Progress Report. It follows the recent high-profile resignations of Prof Tom Keane as Chairperson of the Sláintecare Implementation Advisory Council, and Ms Laura Magahy as Executive Director of the Sláintecare reform programme office, amid deep concerns about progress of the Government’s health reform programme.…

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GPs urge people concerned about suicide to reach out for help

The ICGP has urged the public to “reach out for help” if they are suffering from mental health difficulties or have suicidal thoughts. The Director of Mental Health Programmes with the ICGP, Dr Brian Osborne, said: “On this World Suicide Prevention Day 2021, we continue to live through the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 crisis has…

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Launch of National Director of Public Health recruitment campaign

The HSE is launching a recruitment campaign for the future National Director of Public Health in Ireland. The National Director of Public Health will report to the HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer and will be a “system leader with responsibility for protecting and improving the health of the Irish population”. The post holder will provide strategic…

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Less invasive saliva PCR test proves accurate in detecting Covid-19

A study conducted by RCSI has demonstrated that a PCR test using saliva to test for Covid-19 is almost as accurate as the standard nose and throat swab. The saliva screening represents a less invasive alternative to the nasal/throat swab and could enable greater capacity for, and uptake of frequent testing of people who require…

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