Editorial

Heading the HSE — holding a tiger by its tail

If you were to become head of the HSE, what is the first thing you would do? Taking over such a large and complex organisation makes the need to prioritise essential. To an extent, the priorities of the new HSE Director General (DG) Mr Paul Reid have been set for him by the Executive’s precarious…

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Where now for the NAGP?

In the previous issue, our editorial sought to strike an optimistic note. The new deal for general practice promised an end to cuts associated with the FEMPI era. The optimism was evident at the IMO AGM, where the new deal was positively greeted. For the first time in a long while, the future looks bright…

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The end of the beginning?

In his inaugural address as IMO President Dr Padraig McGarry referred to the new GP deal as the “end of the beginning”. He was talking, of course, about the end of FEMPI, and the potential that this offers for a new dawn for general practice. As chair of the IMO GP Committee, he was a…

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Worrying trends confirmed before IMO AGM

The new Medical Workforce Intelligence Report, published by the Medical Council, confirmed trends that will come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the recruitment and retention problems in the health service. For every two hospital consultants retaining registration in 2018, there were three NCHDs retaining registration. Of note, 4,141 of the 7,687 NCHDs…

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The expansion of public health

Over the past two issues of the Medical Independent, we have devoted significant coverage to the theme of public health. In the previous issue (4 April), Niamh Cahill examined the implications of the Crowe Horwath report on public health doctors and whether the specialists will be finally accorded the status of ‘consultant’. In this issue,…

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Raising awareness of policy debates

Awareness weeks play an important role in increasing the public’s knowledge of a particular disease or medical issue. Patient advocates and health professionals also use these opportunities to relay messages to politicians about what needs to be done in a particular area. While raising public awareness might sound straightforward, the issues involved can be complex.…

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Questioning Sláintecare

What is Sláintecare? Is it the first report launched in May 2017? Or is it the targets contained in the implementation plan released in August 2018 and the action plan published earlier this month? The original idea behind Sláintecare was ambitious. It was intended to take the ‘politics’ out of healthcare. This would be achieved…

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Finding the balance in regulation

Regulation is tricky. On the one hand, standards should be idealistic and be a benchmark for services to aspire towards. On the other, a regulator needs to be pragmatic, which means recognising that the resources necessary for improvement are often not available and are outside the power of the individual service provider. Knowing where the…

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The problem with Angola

In his time as Minister for Health, the former Taoiseach Brian Cowen once famously referred to the Department of Health as ‘Angola’. This was due to the number of political landmines that were ready to explode in the face of unsuspecting Ministers. The quip is regularly trotted-out by political reporters on the appointment of a…

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A systemic failure on an incredible scale

Paul Mulholland  Has there ever been a construction healthcare project as mired in delay and controversy as the National Children’s Hospital? From the time the hospital was announced, a shadow has hung over the development. The need for the hospital was first put forward in 1993, when the RCPI proposed a single tertiary children’s hospital…

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