In The News

Consultant vacancy problems highlighted in Health Service Executive report

There were 479 vacant consultant posts at the end of December 2018, the highest number being related to medicine. The data, which is contained in the HSE’s final consultant establishment quarterly report for 2018, showed that 108 out of the 763 medicine posts were vacant at the end of last year. In terms of specialty,…

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Rotunda Hospital set to replace delivery goods lift over safety concerns

A delivery goods lift at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin has been “condemned” by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and will be replaced this year, according to the hospital. Health and safety concerns affecting staff at the catering department in the Rotunda were discussed by its board late last year. The findings from a…

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No plans to update national guidelines on physical activity — DoH

There are “no plans” to update The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland, in spite of calls for them to be revised, the Medical Independent (MI) has been told. The Irish Heart Foundation (IHF), has called for the guidelines to be updated to take into account matters such as “sedentary behaviour”, specifically regarding the…

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Mental Health Commission casts doubt on value of Oireachtas Committee’s mental healthcare report

The Mental Health Commission (MHC) did not believe that the report from the Joint Committee on the Future of Mental Health, which was published towards the end of last year, was sufficiently detailed or thorough, the Medical Independent (MI) can report. The purpose of the Joint Committee’s work was to achieve cross-party agreement on the…

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Extension of cardiac cath lab services requested by Saolta

The board of Saolta University Health Care Group has urged Minister for Health Simon Harris to extend cardiac catheterisation laboratory services at Sligo University Hospital “as soon as possible”. Dr John Killeen, Board Chairperson, wrote to Minister Harris in September calling for the extension of services and stating the board’s wish was to “progress this…

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IEHG proposes to cut hospitals within Group to six

The Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) is proposing to reduce the number of its constituent hospitals from 11 to six, which it says will help improve patient outcomes, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned. The proposal emerged following a review initiated in 2014 around the future needs and requirements of the Hospital Group. However, the…

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DMHG ‘reprofiled’ projects due to renal unit cost

A number of projects in the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG) have been “reprofiled” because the cost of constructing the new renal unit at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) is above the initial project allocation. This is due to construction inflation and increased scope, outlined a paper presented to the HSE Directorate last October. The tenders…

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NTPF develops new validation waiting list process

The validation process for hospital waiting lists is to be reformed as part of plans to introduce fairer procedures for patients, the NAGP has been informed. The move comes following widespread criticism from GPs regarding the HSE validation processes for individuals awaiting hospital appointments, with many patients reporting being struck-off waiting lists without receiving any…

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Urgent screening resources to combat CPE superbugs awaited

Further screening resources required immediately to help combat carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) have not yet been provided by the Department of Health for 2019, the Medical Independent (MI) understands. At press time, the HSE and Department were due to discuss some additional funding. To date, MI understands the Department had committed to around €2 million for…

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Demand outstrips HIQA’s capacity to deliver HTAs

HIQA has been unable to conduct a high number of health technology assessments (HTAs) in recent years as a result of limited resources, the Medical Independent (MI) can reveal. Since 2015, there have been eight HTAs HIQA has been unable to include in its workplan or undertake within the relevant timeframe. In 2015, HIQA implemented…

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