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NEDOC telephone triage rates soared due to Covid-19

Telephone triage at out-of-hours GP cooperative NEDOC jumped by 757 per cent in March due to the emergence of Covid-19, according to new data. As the number of attendances at treatment centres dropped by 50 per cent in March compared to March 2019, a huge increase was recorded in calls to the service, which covers…

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Cappagh Hospital CEO outlines major social distancing challenges

The “aging and augmented” infrastructure at National Orthopaedic Hospital Cappagh (NOHC) is “not conducive to social distancing practices” and addressing this will impact bed capacity and waiting lists, its CEO has warned. Writing in the Medical Independent about the hospital’s rapid transition into a trauma centre as part of the national Covid-19 response, Ms Angela…

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Covid-19 impacts bariatric surgery

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the number of bariatric surgeries taking place in Ireland, according to figures seen by the Medical Independent (MI). Ten bariatric surgeries have taken place in St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH), Dublin, and none as yet in St Michael’s Hospital, Dún Laoghaire, show figures provided by Ireland East Hospital Group. Only…

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Doctors’ licence model to be considered – outgoing CEO

A proposal for a licensing model for doctors is being developed at the Medical Council, its outgoing CEO has confirmed. Speaking to the Medical Independent (MI) in late May, Mr Bill Prasifka said such a development would require legislative amendment and no decision has been made at this time. More broadly, the Council has been…

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DoH official: ‘no basis’ for ‘across the board’ agreement on private consultant costs

A senior Department of Health official wrote to the HSE in April stating there was “no basis to enter an across the board” agreement taking on the running costs and business expenses of private rooms owned or rented by self-employed private consultants, the Medical Independent can report. Dated 8 April, just a week after the…

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HIQA proposes monitoring emergency department care for older people

HIQA has proposed monitoring emergency departments against national healthcare standards, which will focus primarily on the quality and safety of services provided to older patients, the Medical Independent can report. Following a discussion at the Authority’s board meeting in January, a paper was prepared for the board’s consideration outlining a proposed approach in line with…

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Deaths of dementia patients moved to nursing homes to facilitate surge capacity

A number of residents at a psychiatry of later life unit in Dublin who were moved to nursing homes to free-up the unit for surge capacity have since died, it has emerged. Residents at the Sycamore Unit at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin, which has a bed capacity of 25, were moved to “nursing homes or…

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Reduced but ongoing presentations to sexual assault units

Attendances at the sexual assault treatment unit (SATU) service have dropped during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to preliminary figures that cover the period into the beginning of May. However, the Clinical Director of the national SATU service Dr Maeve Eogan said it was important to emphasise that “sexual violence has not gone away”. “All six…

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Failure to award SMO position ‘not result of age discrimination’

A Workplace Relations Commission adjudication officer has decided against the IMO in a case where the union argued that a member was denied a promotion to senior medical officer (SMO) as a result of indirect age discrimination. In May 2017 Dr Joe Quinn, an Area Medical Officer (AMO) in the west, applied for an SMO…

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Forum of medical training bodies calls for ‘stimulus package’

The cost to postgraduate medical training bodies of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic could be up to €4 million, according to Mr Martin McCormack, Honorary Secretary of the Forum of Irish Postgraduate Medical Training Bodies. Mr McCormack informed the Medical Independent: “Whilst the colleges have been prudent in their expenditure the final cost of dealing…

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