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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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Lifting the mask on the official guidance on face coverings

Over three months since the lockdown, the desire for things to go back to normal is more than understandable. The plans to reopen society promise a relief from the enforced claustrophobia we have all endured since March. This desire for normality, or as close to normality as we can get, should not bring with it…

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Should Ireland follow New Zealand’s path of elimination?

Even with his talent for charting the Zeitgeist, Irish writer Mark O’Connell could not have foreseen that his new book on apocalyptic thinking would be published at the beginning of a global pandemic. Reading Notes from an Apocalypse during the at-times-end-of-the-world feel of the Covid-19 crisis makes for an eerie experience. The book even has…

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Protecting the vulnerable from Covid-19

To date, Ireland has avoided the feared Covid-19 surge. This is, of course, to be welcomed and credit should go to healthcare professionals and other experts, the Government, Department of Health, and the HSE for their part in this national effort. However, our response to the pandemic has not been perfect, with the high number…

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Mental health fallout from pandemic must be addressed

he Covid-19 pandemic has ramifications for all aspects of society and our daily lives. As lockdown becomes our ‘new normal’, increasing attention is being paid to what impact the pandemic is having on our mental health. In a recent statement, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO)  Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the psychological…

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The pandemic will not make IR issues go away

It was always going to be the case that the unity which characterised the health service’s and medical community’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic would be difficult to sustain. Speaking recently to this newspaper, the President of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland Dr Brian Kinirons commented that the pandemic response had brought a “cohesion”…

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The needs of non-Covid 19 patients cannot be forgotten

Some things are noticeable by their absence. During these early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has not been much talk about the chronic problems of emergency department overcrowding and waiting lists. These issues have been notoriously difficult for various Governments to solve. The inability of the previous Fine Gael majority Government to improve the…

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