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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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Vital to stop spread of Covid-19 in the residential care sector

ne of the most worrying trends in the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland has been the outbreak of infections in nursing homes and other residential care settings. Given that older people are more at risk of serious infection and death from the virus, the presence of Covid-19 in nursing homes can be particularly devastating. As…

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When ‘real’ life rivals fiction

Speaking recently to the New York Times, Ms Sandra Zampa, Under Secretary of Italy’s Health Ministry, said when Covid-19 first spread in China, Italians followed events as they would do a science fiction movie. Not much later, when the novel coronavirus came to its shores and ravaged Northern Italy, she said Europe “looked at us in…

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An outbreak in the information age

Perhaps the only thing to match the spread of the new coronavirus, or Covid-19, are news articles and social media posts about the spread of the virus. This editorial can be added to the latter’s growing number. The scale of the outbreak has the potential not only to put significant strain on the healthcare services…

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The crossover between housing and health

n our last editorial, we focused on how healthcare was the most important issue for the electorate based on an Ipsos/MRBI exit poll. After healthcare, the most important issue was housing. Like healthcare, housing is a wide area. It encompasses everything from someone trying to buy their first home, to the growing problem of homelessness. …

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An era-defining general election has put health at the top of the agenda

As this editorial is being written the country is still shaking from the ramifications of the general election results, which have seen Sinn Féin win most first preference votes and emerge as at least an equal to the two traditional large parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. One of the interesting results of the exit…

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The Sláintecare election

Perhaps the defining moment of the Claire Byrne Live health debate on 20 January came at the end of the programme when Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson Mr Stephen Donnelly was repeatedly told that many of his party’s healthcare proposals were in the Sláintecare Report. The sight of the Social Democrats co-leader Ms Róisín Shortall, egged…

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Waiting for IT — progress in digitising the health service has been beset with delays

Mary Harney remarkably did not use a computer during her time as Minister for Health. Yet her tenure marked the period when voices calling for IT to transform healthcare delivery became louder. At the end of 2009, the then Minister received a report by the Healthcare ICT Industry Group titled ICT’s Role in Healthcare Transformation.…

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