In The News

Confusion on ‘12 weeks’ when accessing abortion – leading provider

There is “a huge amount of confusion” about what constitutes 12 weeks’ pregnancy among many women seeking termination of pregnancy services, contributing to some “very fraught” situations around accessing care within the time limit, according to the Medical Director of the Irish Family Planning Association (IFPA) Dr Caitriona Henchion. Under the ‘early pregnancy’ provision of…

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Lack of consultant paediatricians leads to fall in number of GP training places

The number of GP training places has fallen as a result of consultant vacancies and is below the figure the ICGP had hoped to offer, the Medical Independent (MI) can report. Last year the ICGP offered 194 GP training places, but this year the figure has fallen to 192. The two fewer places on offer…

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More than 600 GPs lodge petition with ICGP for abortion EGM

Doctors seeking an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the ICGP on abortion services have announced that over 600 GPs have signed a petition in support of the meeting. Almost 500 signatories are full ICGP members, meaning that the petition has over the necessary 350 signatories required for the ICGP to hold an EGM, claimed pro-life…

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Over 1,000 Irish people potentially affected by valproate syndrome

A HSE-commissioned report estimates that up to 1,250 children have experienced some form of neurodevelopmental delay and between 153 and 341 children a major congenital malformation arising from sodium valproate exposure in utero from 1975 to 2015. Rapid assessment of the number of women and children exposed to sodium valproate in Ireland 1975-2015 said the…

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Framework for consultant contract compliance established

The HSE has established a new process to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of the consultant contract, the Medical Independent (MI) can report. In 2018, the Department of Health issued correspondence to the HSE requiring the establishment of a “comprehensive framework for consultant contract compliance”. The Department requested that the HSE’s Internal Audit…

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Inadequate pre-hospital care regulation ‘puts public at risk’ — PHECC Chair

The failure to adequately regulate pre-hospital emergency services puts the public “at risk” and poses a “significant reputational risk” to the Minister for Health and Department, the Chairperson of the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) has warned Minister for Health Simon Harris. In correspondence sent with her Chairperson’s report last July, Dr Jacqueline Burke stated…

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30 per cent of Irish primary care centres have no GP

Some 35 primary care centres (PCCs) operating across Ireland have no GPs in place, according to the HSE. Of the 115 centres in operation nationally at the start of last year, only 80 had GPs working from the premises at the end of March 2018, a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent. Last year, €27…

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NRH paediatric service was temporarily suspended

A full paediatric service resumed at the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), Dún Laoghaire, at the end of November following the temporary suspension of its inpatient service, the Medical Independent (MI) understands. According to minutes of an NRH board meeting in September, the Chief Executive Mr Derek Greene reported that “the hospital has had to close…

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Some pushback against vaccine in Temple St Hospital

The flu vaccine campaign in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital had a staff uptake of 72 per cent as of 21 February, despite earlier “pushback” from some staff, this newspaper has learned. The hospital’s executive management committee meeting of 31 October had heard reports of reluctance among some staff members about receiving the vaccine. “Uptake…

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Temple St ‘generally unable’ to facilitate requests from overseas

Temple Street Children’s University Hospital is “generally unable” to facilitate referrals for treatment of overseas patients, the Medical Independent (MI) has been informed. The issue was raised at recent meetings of the hospital’s executive management committee following a number of requests for treatment from abroad. According to minutes of the 14 November meeting, a “total…

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