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Opportunity offered in consultant contract negotiations needs to be grasped

Without meaningful engagement from health management on a new consultant contract, the experiences, sacrifices and learnings of the past year will have been squandered It has been a long and difficult year, not least for those of us in healthcare. We are not clear of the pandemic yet – and will not be for some…

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Now is the time to fix our healthcare system

Frontline innovation shows that the Irish health service can change for the better Ireland started this pandemic with the longest waiting lists in Europe and the lowest number of specialist consultants in post. But Covid-19 is not to blame for these problems. In fact, the pandemic has shone a light both on the deficits in the system and on the speed and ease at which they can be overcome when consultants are…

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‘Living with the virus’ has not worked – we need a better plan

There is huge frustration among frontline staff that the Government failed to listen to NPHET’s concerns about reopening the country before Christmas As I write, we are in the eye of the storm – the third and worst wave thus far of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ireland. Non-medical friends text and call to ask, “are…

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Let’s not rush to judgement and instead reflect on our own privilege

Instead of vilifying young people who breach physical distancing guidelines, we should focus on the social inequalities that are driving the spread of Covid-19 We read the recently published HSE Winter Plan in the knowledge that last year was the worst winter on record. Healthcare workers are looking to the Government more in hope than…

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Taking the fight to the virus

If Covid-19 has taught me anything, it is that the quality and commitment of our team is second to none Tap, tap, tap. The click of my keyboard is accompanied by the low hum from street noise outside. The occasional car passes. A door shuts. I hear the neighbour’s dog bark as a motorbike goes…

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Pressing on and taking the fight to the virus.

If Covid-19 has taught me anything, it is that the quality and commitment of our team is second to none Tap, tap, tap. The click of my keyboard is accompanied by the low hum from street noise outside. The occasional car passes. A door shuts. I hear the neighbour’s dog bark as a motorbike goes…

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From containment to mitigation

The experience of previous pandemics will be crucial in informing the fight against Covid-19 What have we learned from the recent experience in responding to SARS, Ebola, H1N1? As we face the challenge of a novel virus, we must ensure that we apply the knowledge gleaned from past pandemics. We have been watching from our…

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Seize the day and send a clear message

This general election will be crucial in determining the future of our health system With the announcement that the general election will take place on 8 February, I was reminded  of when, a few months ago, I debated with a good friend who works in politics. He chided me that my advocacy was wasted because…

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The case against the de Buitléir report

We must adopt pragmatic policies to fund and deliver healthcare for this century What do we want from our public health service? What is a reasonable expectation? What is a reasonable cost? What is the value of excellent care and timely access? These are questions that continuously arise in contemporary Irish political discourse. Many admirers…

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An apple a day won’t make doctors stay

It will take more than wellness initiatives to improve consultant morale As I prepare to speak on burnout and the recruitment crisis at the annual IHCA conference, I am reminded of a recent Saturday morning conversation with consultant colleagues on the topic of wellness initiatives for consultant staff. “I don’t need a manager leaving an…

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