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An age of uncertainty

As this editorial is being written, the rising number of Covid-19 cases, along with associated hospitalisations and ICU admissions, have made the dark days of mid-autumn even darker. The plan had been that 22 October would see the full reopening of society after more than a year and a half of restrictions. While the Government…

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Waiting list backlog needs to be addressed

Recently, the National Clinical Programme in Surgery (NCPS) published a document, which looked at the effect Covid-19 has had on surgery. Titled A year like no other: The impact of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic on surgical activity in Ireland, the document states there were 17 per cent fewer emergency surgeries and 30 per cent fewer elective…

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2012 salary cut still key issue for consultants

In this issue of the Medical Independent, we look at the work the HSE has undertaken to improve the processes through which consultants are appointed. This work follows the publication of the Keane report in 2016, which pointed to inefficiencies in the existing consultant recruitment system. Progress has been made in some areas. For instance,…

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What now for Sláintecare?

When the Sláintecare Report was published in May 2017 the hope was that, finally, the Irish healthcare service had thelong-term direction and consensus it lacked for so long. The aim of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare was to provide cross-party agreement on a range of issues to allow for a substantial healthcare reform…

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Chronic neglect means it’s right to be apprehensive about winter

In this issue of the Medical Independent (MI), our main feature focuses on the uncertainty of the coming winter period. This uncertainty is driven by the reopening of society after more than a year of restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19. While Ireland’s high vaccination rate offers encouragement, the greater transmissibility of the Delta…

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Physical and mental health of vulnerable groups must be protected

In this issue of the Medical Independent, we have published a feature on Covid-19 in Irish prisons. Speaking to this newspaper, Dr John Devlin, Clinical Director at the Irish Prison Service (IPS), said the Service has been “reasonably successful” in terms of controlling Covid to date. As of late July, there had been 11 outbreaks…

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Europe failing the test in diagnosing HIV

Just because the world is in the middle of a pandemic, it doesn’t mean other public health problems have gone away. Last week’s editorial referred to the negative health consequences that will occur if climate change fails to be adequately tackled. It was recently revealed that the number of people living with undiagnosed HIV is…

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Pandemics, climate change and the difficult task of public health

In the previous issue of the Medical Independent (MI), we published a feature asking what the memory of previous pandemics tells us about how Covid-19 might be remembered. Dr Claas Kirchhelle (PhD), Lecturer in the History of Medicine in University College Dublin, raised the point that while previous pandemics had an impact on policy in…

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The Tánaiste should be questioned on repeated failure to support public health doctors

The revelations of how Tánaiste Leo Varadkar leaked details when he was Taoiseach of the soon-to-be agreed GP chronic disease contract to the then President of the now defunct National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail in April 2019, is but the latest example of a healthcare story dominating the news headlines…

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Time to value our healthcare workers

It is four months since the then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar stood outside Blair House, Washington DC, and told the nation he needed to speak to us about the coronavirus and Covid-19. That speech and the one to follow five days later, on St Patrick’s Day, marked a fork in the road of most people’s lives…

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