Editorial

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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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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Brexit cloud continues to hang over Irish healthcare

The ascension of Boris Johnson to British Prime Minister has made the prospect of a no-deal Brexit much more likely. Although such a scenario could potentially be vetoed by parliament, there remains a huge degree of uncertainty about what will transpire after the deadline for Brexit passes on 31 October. The consequences of a no-deal…

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The perpetual circle of health restructuring

Not long after the appointment of a new HSE CEO and board, and another round in what seems to be the never-ending process of internal reorganisation, the announcement was made that the health service would be divided into six regional areas. The division is based on recommendations in the Sláintecare Report, which called for the…

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Cause and effect — the insidious reasons for bullying in the health service

The recent Your Training Counts report from the Medical Council made for stark reading for anyone interested in the wellbeing of young doctors starting their careers. According to the survey, 41 per cent of trainees experienced some form of bullying or harassment in their roles, an increase from 34 per cent in 2014. The data,…

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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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