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Editorial

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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On Clive James, ibrutinib, and the NHS

“One of the virtues of the NHS is that it doesn’t worry you about money at the moment when you’re least capable of doing anything about it.” his was one of the multitude of Clive James quotations printed on the death of the writer, poet, and broadcaster last November. Towards the end of his life,…

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The costs of healthcare reform

In the previous issue of the Medical Independent (MI), we revealed how the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) said it would not support a draft memo for the Government on the regional division of the health service prior to discussing the HSE’s deteriorating financial situation with the Department of Health. The position was…

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The Stark reality of winter plans — fact can be more harsh than fiction

f the HSE is ever in need of a new slogan, it could do worse than use one of the most famous lines from the TV series Game of Thrones, which came to an end earlier this year. The phrase ‘Winter is coming’ is by now familiar even to those who never watched the show.…

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Better Late Late than never

The outpouring of tributes on the death of Gay Byrne was to be expected, given the pivotal role he played in debates on the future of Irish society during his 37-year tenure as host of The Late Late Show. During this time, the conservatism of Irish culture was challenged on the programme, with the role…

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The case for reforming public health medicine

The subject of our previous editorial was the slow pace of healthcare negotiations, with consultants being the main focus. It was written as talks between the IMO and the Department of Health were due to begin on the consultant recruitment and retention crisis. After the talks, the IMO said it will ballot for industrial action…

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Talks about talks — the need to consult the consultants

Healthcare negotiations can often be a slow, laborious, affair. The consultant contract 2008 took over a decade of talks before it was finalised. Even getting to the negotiation table can be a hard and fraught process. The lack of engagement on a new GP contract is but one example. There is also the glacial progress…

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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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