In The News

Accrediting interpreters requires ‘Government decision’

Acting on HSE-commissioned research to ensure appropriate accreditation of language interpreters would require a “Government decision”, the Executive has informed the Medical Independent (MI). The HSE National Social Inclusion Office commissioned research from University of Limerick around appropriate accreditation and qualifications for translation and interpretation services. Achieving the objectives and recommendations of the 2018 report…

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RCPI recruitment paper nears finalisation

An internal RCPI document on how it can help address doctor recruitment and retention problems in the Irish health service is due to be completed before the end of the year. The project has involved surveying RCPI fellows, members and trainees and is being led by the College’s Director of Research Prof Richard Costello. “The…

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Opioid ‘misprescribing’ needs a ‘concerted response’ — Medical Council CEO

The problem of “opioid misprescribing” is among a number of issues that came to the Medical Council’s special attention during 2018, and demands a “concerted response”, according to its CEO. In his foreword to the Council’s annual report for 2018, CEO Mr Bill Prasifka said the issue would require “a concerted response across the range…

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12 reports of potential ‘breast implant illness’ received by HPRA

The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has received 34 incident reports related to breast implants and three incident reports related to breast tissue expanders since January 2017, a spokesperson for the Authority has told the Medical Independent (MI).  These figures include 12 reports which may potentially relate to breast implant illness (BII). “Some health researchers…

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HIPE does not reflect private work — UL consultants

Consultants in University of Limerick (UL) Hospitals Group have said Hospital Inpatient Inquiry (HIPE) data is not a correct reflection of claims they have made for treating patients with private health insurance, the Medical Independent (MI) can report. The issue was discussed in a HSE document outlining the new consultant compliance framework submitted to Secretary…

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Over 200 patients on Suboxone

In April 203 patients attended for opioid substitution treatment (OST) with buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), according to information provided by the HSE. A HSE spokesperson said addiction services in each Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) are prescribing the medication.  Suboxone, the brand name for buprenorphine/naloxone, is an alternative substitution treatment for opioid drug dependence. New regulations were introduced…

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Scope of NCHD ED overtime underpayments ‘potentially large’

The potential liability of overtime underpayments to emergency medicine NCHDs at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) may be “large”, according to IMO Industrial Relations Officer for Consultants and NCHDs Mr Paul Maier. UHL has stated that “anomalies” in calculation of overtime premium entitlements were identified as a pay calculation error in November 2018 and the cause…

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No ‘sustained improvement’ in delayed discharges since 2015 – HSE report

There are “no signals of a sustained improvement” in the number of delayed discharges in the Irish health service since 2015, a document provided to the HSE Directorate has stated. The directorate quality profile for May was presented to the Directorate meeting for that month and has been obtained by the Medical Independent through Freedom…

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Council considered applying for suspension of 16 doctors

The Medical Council considered applying for immediate suspension of the registration of 16 doctors in 2018, with proceedings against two of these doctors considered twice. Section 60 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 allows the Council to make an ex parte application to the court for an order to suspend a doctor’s registration if this…

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HSE’s organ donation chief warns Health Minister of ‘very significant’ deficit

The director of the HSE’s organ donation agency has appealed to Minister for Health Simon Harris for “direct intervention” to address a “very significant infrastructure deficit” that is limiting organ donation and transplant in Ireland. In correspondence on 14 June, Prof Jim Egan, Director of Organ Donation Transplant Ireland (ODTI), also informed Minister Harris that…

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