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What I miss and don’t miss about being a GP

The constant worry over potential mistakes is something I am glad to have left behind when I changed career Three months ago I changed my life. I stopped getting into my car to go to work, travelling across the river and up the hill. I folded my relatively new scrubs and put them in the…

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Inequality in the age of the booster

Just before Christmas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an ‘interim statement’ onbooster doses for Covid-19 vaccination. The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,called for a moratorium on booster vaccination for healthy adults until the end of 2021 to counter the “persisting and profound inequity” in global vaccine access. While many countries were far from…

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Will self-interest motivate Ireland to be stronger on vaccine equity?

On 29 November, in a joint statement, the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs announced that a consignment of 500,000 Covid-19 vaccines donated by Ireland arrived in Nigeria. The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly noted that this is Ireland’s second significant vaccine donation in recent months following a recent delivery to Uganda.…

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The limits of personal responsibility

Due to the rise in Covid-19 cases, the IMO recently made a call for the public to redouble its effortsto combat the spread of the virus. President of the Organisation Dr Ina Kelly said the next couple of weekswill be critical, not only regarding the deteriorating Covid situation, but for the wider health service. “Our…

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Waiting list backlog needs to be addressed

Recently, the National Clinical Programme in Surgery (NCPS) published a document, which looked at the effect Covid-19 has had on surgery. Titled A year like no other: The impact of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic on surgical activity in Ireland, the document states there were 17 per cent fewer emergency surgeries and 30 per cent fewer elective…

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What now for Sláintecare?

When the Sláintecare Report was published in May 2017 the hope was that, finally, the Irish healthcare service had thelong-term direction and consensus it lacked for so long. The aim of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare was to provide cross-party agreement on a range of issues to allow for a substantial healthcare reform…

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Chronic neglect means it’s right to be apprehensive about winter

In this issue of the Medical Independent (MI), our main feature focuses on the uncertainty of the coming winter period. This uncertainty is driven by the reopening of society after more than a year of restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19. While Ireland’s high vaccination rate offers encouragement, the greater transmissibility of the Delta…

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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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More action required on HCV

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and the remarkable breakthroughs seen in vaccinology, another virus was the centrepiece of recent medical innovation. Within the past decade, direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have revolutionised treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV), making international elimination goals eminently achievable. In theory, of course. HCV largely affects marginalised sections of societies, with injecting…

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Time to change the changeover

In the previous issue of the Medical Independent, columnist Dr Michael Conroy wrote about the significant personal and professional disruption caused by the NCHD annual changeover (‘The Mayfly Effect’). According to Dr Conroy, who is a registrar in oncology: “The turbulence of our rotation system has few parallels in any other workplace andmake a stable…

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