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Autumn medical graduates ‘struggling’ due to lack of intern places

Doctors who graduated from medical schools in autumn are “jobless” and “struggling” as there is no second entry point to intern year, a representative for the group has said. One of the affected doctors told the Medical Independent (MI) they are aware of approximately 25 doctors who deferred their final-year exams, which were staged several…

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83 fitness to practise cases await hearing

Some 83 cases are waiting to be heard by fitness to practise (FTP) inquiry at the Medical Council. Of these 83 referrals from the preliminary proceedings committee, 22 cases are ready to “proceed to be heard at this time by the committee”, according to a Council spokesperson. There is no statute of limitations or similar…

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Alternative pathways into GP training being examined

The ICGP is examining alternative pathways for entry into general practice training as part of efforts to increase the number of GP training places for 2021, according to the College’s Director of GP Training. Dr Karena Hanley told the Medical Independent the ICGP is working on the structures required to increase training places in response…

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HPSC Director role filled on interim basis pending reforms

The Director role in the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) remains filled on an interim basis, the HSE has confirmed. Asked if it was still seeking a permanent HPSC Director, and at what salary level, a HSE spokesperson said that “in the future service delivery model, this role will be clinical lead for surveillance”. The…

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More vaccine storage capacity by end of year

The HSE is currently “securing” more vaccine storage space, which will be in place by the end of the year, this newspaper has been told. The Medical Independent (MI) asked the Executive whether further storage capacity would be needed in preparation for any future Covid-19 vaccine. “Vaccines currently are stored in the National Cold Chain…

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Pay equality ‘a red line issue’ for Irish doctors abroad – IHCA

The “pay inequality” for new-entrant consultants is a “red line” issue for Irish doctors living abroad who may contemplate returning home. That is according to leading members of the IHCA who spoke to the Medical Independent (MI) as part of the Association’s preBudget submission launch. MI asked whether the current pandemic, with its resulting travel…

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Longer interval for BreastCheck due to Covid-19 demands

It is projected that the next round of BreastCheck will take three years in order to catch up on missed screens and assessments in light of Covid-19. Under normal circumstances, eligible women are invited for a mammogram every two years. When the BreastCheck programme was paused, there were around 600 women with screen detected abnormalities…

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Sexual health lead selected amid fears of untreated infections

The recruitment competition for a new Medical Director in Sexual Health has taken place and a candidate had been selected, according to the HSE. “It is anticipated that the post will be filled in Q4, 2020,” a spokesperson told the Medical Independent. The National Sexual Health Strategy 2015-2020 “will be updated once the current pandemic…

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Pressure mounts on out-of-hours GP services as Covid symptoms rise

A GP out-of-hours (OOH) co-op has experienced a significant rise in its contact rate due to increasing calls from patients with Covid-19 symptoms. Since the end of August, NEDOC, which covers Louth, Meath, Cavan, and Monaghan, has experienced a resurgence in the number of contacts to the service, with similar pressures facing other OOH services…

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SHOs rostered for 19 shifts in a row – Medical Council report

Trainees at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, reported that some SHOs were rostered to work a continuous shift pattern of 19 days during periods of staff absence, according to a Medical Council inspection report. The training standards inspection was conducted in 2019 and the report was approved by the Medical Council’s education and training…

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