In The News

FF ‘would not oppose’ referral of assisted dying to Citizens’ Assembly

Fianna Fáil “would not oppose” the referral of assisted dying to a Citizens’ Assembly for further discussion, a spokesperson has told the Medical Independent. However, a Fine Gael spokesperson did not provide its position on a recommendation by the Joint Committee on Justice and Equality, which urged the Oireachtas to “consider” referring the issue to…

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Dr Scally refrains from commenting on screening judgment

Dr Gabriel Scally, head of the CervicalCheck scoping inquiry, has told the Medical Independent (MI) he will not comment publicly on a recent High Court ruling that labs carrying out screening should have “absolute confidence” in their decision when giving a sample an all-clear result. He told MI that while he had his own views…

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Law ‘won’t provide extra powers’— Council

The CEO of the Medical Council has emphasised that a proposed legal amendment, allowing him to initially review complaints against doctors, will not result in the CEO having “additional powers over the profession”. Speaking to the Medical Independent, Mr Bill Prasifka said the amendment would simply mean that all complaints will not have to be…

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Medical manpower affected pancreas donations

Five potential pancreas donations did not proceed to retrieval or transplant in 2018, against the backdrop of manpower deficits in transplant surgery, retrieval and anaesthesia. Minutes of a meeting of the National Organ Donation and Transplant Advisory Group (NODTAG), obtained by the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information law, outlined how resourcing shortfalls are…

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Increase in Ministers’ travel expenses

Mileage and travel expenses for Ministers at the Department of Health was over €7,500 greater last year than in 2017, new figures obtained by the Medical Independent (MI) reveal. The Ministers in question are Minister for Health Simon Harris; Minister of State for Disabilities Finian McGrath; Minister of State for Health Promotion and National Drugs…

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Major deficiency in irradiation procedure at National Blood Centre

A major deficiency was reported in an inspection of the National Blood Centre mainly related to “operating the irradiator outside the approved procedure”. The deficiency was identified through an inspection by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA). According to a report by IBTS CEO Mr Andrew Kelly to the service’s board in December, “this happened…

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HIQA takes legal advice on HSE resourcing provision

HIQA and the Department of Health are set to clash over the extent to which the Authority should consider HSE resources when making regulatory recommendations, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned. HIQA has received legal advice on a section of the Health Act 2007 that specifies it must have regard to the resources available to…

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Patient flow programme ‘misperception’

The ex-head of the Special Delivery Unit (SDU) expressed frustration that a HSE patient flow improvement programme in University Hospital Galway (UHG) was expected to solve emergency department overcrowding, the Medical Independent can reveal. The National Patient Flow Improvement Programme (NPFIP) was rolled out in UHG and University Hospital Limerick in 2016 to test the…

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New behaviour training to be introduced at RCSI after radiology bullying survey

The RCSI has added new areas to its training syllabus for radiology on how to deal with “difficult interactions” after another survey found bullying was an issue within the specialty, this newspaper has been told. The issue of bullying within radiology was discussed at the February meeting of the RCSI surgery and postgraduate faculties board,…

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Almost €650K paid for ‘culture change’

The HSE has paid almost €650,000 to UK consultancy firm The Chalfont Project since 2017 for its work on staff ‘culture change’ project Values in Action, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned. The Values in Action initiative involves ‘peer-nominated champions’ attending a ‘boot camp’ where they are introduced to the principles of ‘viral change’ as…

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