Editorial

Putting the emergency brakes on a runaway train

Nearly 64,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2016 alone. Opioid overdoses accounted for more than 42,000 of these deaths, more than any previous year on record. In response, the US government launched an initiative to tackle the crisis. The first part of this involves reducing the demand and over-prescription, including educating Americans about…

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Why conferences can be important

After the summer break, conference season is back in full swing. The usual line-up of clinical meetings organised by the medical societies has commenced and will continue through the autumn and winter to give doctors the opportunity to learn about the new developments in their specialty. Yet, in an interconnected age such as this, it…

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Editorial 23 Sept 2019

Striving to provide a more equal healthcare service Our previous editorial ended by referring to Sláintecare’s commitment to equality of access for patients. This reference was in the context of removing private practice from public hospitals, which was the subject of the recently-published de Buitléir report. While the existence of private healthcare is the most…

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Editorial 12 Sept 2019

There probably is never an ideal time to introduce major reform in healthcare. The unrelenting demand for services makes implementing policy changes difficult. There is the danger that the transition to new arrangements could lead to service disruption, at least in the short-term. Yet, it is often only through a long-term strategy that a solution…

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Speaking out on the troubles of the world

The Amazon rainforest fires are another unwanted example of the extensive damage humans can do to the environment. Environmental campaigners have said the wildfires, which have devastated the region, are the result of deforestation. Although wildfires occur in the dry season in Brazil, they are also deliberately started to clear land for cattle ranching. The…

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Lack of continuity at top of HSE threatens quality improvement

Institutional memory is the collective knowledge and learned experiences of a group. It is a way for an institution to connect what has worked well in the past, with what could work well in the future. Losing key staff members with in-depth familiarity of a given area poses a threat to the continuity needed for…

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Challenging negative attitude towards general practice

Towards the end of Somerset Maugham’s coming of age classic Of Human Bondage (1913), the lead character Philip Carey is placed with a GP as a newly-qualified doctor. The GP in question, Dr South, is elderly and irascible. One of the chief subjects of his scorn are the young doctors who come to work as…

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Art of the interview

It has been difficult to escape the Maria Bailey debacle in recent weeks. Alongside the resignation of Theresa May as British Prime Minister and the European election results, the Fine Gael TD’s lawsuit against the Dean Hotel in Dublin for alleged injuries, following a fall from an indoor swing, has dominated the news agenda at…

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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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