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A guide to providing evidence at fitness to practise hearings

Mr Liam Heffernan, Legal Counsel at Medisec, outlines what doctors need to be aware of when providing records and giving evidence at Medical Council fitness to practise inquiries When a doctor is subject to an inquiry before the fitness to practise committee (FTPC) of the Medical Council, other doctors who may have been involved in…

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Building for the future

During the Covid-19 pandemic, much focus has been on the new. To control the spread of the virus, social distancing measures were implemented. There was also the reorganisation of health services and the agreement with private hospitals to ensure capacity in the event of a surge. Virtual clinics became the norm rather than the exception.…

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The lifetime race to retirement

Unlike other professions, early retirement for doctors is simply a pipe dream First it was the Guards. You were invited to a 50th. Don’t tell him, said his wife. Just show up before he gets there. He would love to see you. He often tells me how you were such pals in school and he…

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A Grimm Tale for the times we live in

Here is a story about a king, a queen, a beautiful garden, and an evil virus Once upon a time, there was a king and queen who lived in a castle surrounded by a beautiful garden. When they were not sitting on their thrones, the royal couple liked to plant flowers and shrubs and harvest…

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Unlocking doctors’ dress codes

Covid-19 has moved the goalposts significantly in the sartorial stakes Dress codes in medicine have long been considered important. Hippocrates advised doctors to be “clean in person” and “well dressed”. Mind you, he also recommended that they be plump and that they cover themselves with “sweet-smelling unguents”. Covid-19 has moved the goalposts significantly in the…

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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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Challenging formula companies

For too many years, formula companies formed strong alliances with healthcare professionals and institutions May marked the 40th anniversary of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. This Code was developed by the WHO/UNICEF to address unethical advertising practices by large formula companies that adversely affect breastfeeding rates globally. The Code…

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Public and private distress

The ‘two-tier system’ is often blamed unfairly for issues that arise in the delivery of healthcare I’ve been lucky during Covid. None of my friends or family needed hospital care for the virus, or for any other reason. That’s changed. The healthcare conversations have started again. A relative had chest pain going into her arm…

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Opportunity offered in consultant contract negotiations needs to be grasped

Without meaningful engagement from health management on a new consultant contract, the experiences, sacrifices and learnings of the past year will have been squandered It has been a long and difficult year, not least for those of us in healthcare. We are not clear of the pandemic yet – and will not be for some…

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How to avoid a Medical Council investigation

Dr Edward Farnan, Medico-legal Adviser at the Medical Defence Union, outlines some of the common themes in Medical Council investigations There are over 21,000 doctors registered in one of several divisions with the Medical Council. Of these, only a very small number, around 2 per cent, are involved in a complaint to the Medical Council…

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