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Cancer treatment options ‘falling behind’ international standard of care

Available treatment options for cancer patients are “falling well behind the international standard of care”,  the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) executive management team has heard. At its meeting on 11 May, the minutes of which were seen by the Medical Independent (MI) through Freedom of Information law, the new NCCP advice for patients receiving…

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Doctors’ specialist registration granted against advice

The Medical Council has granted specialist registration to some doctors against the recommendation of Irish postgraduate training bodies, the Medical Independent (MI) can report. In spring, before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, a high-placed source in a college informed MI they were aware of instances where doctors were placed on the specialist register, despite…

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Warnings about increased GP retirements

Greater numbers of GPs will retire from practice due to concerns about contracting the novel coronavirus, GPs have warned. Research shows people aged over 70 who develop Covid-19 have an increased risk of serious illness and death. Retired Mayo GP Dr Ken Egan told the Medical Independent three GPs have told him they plan to…

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Staff let go from GP practices

Some GPs have had to let staff go during the Covid-19 pandemic and it is an issue the IMO is raising with the Government, this newspaper has been told. “The IMO have received several reports from members of having to reduce staff hours and/or let staff go,” a spokesperson told the Medical Independent on 10…

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HSE abandons tender and changes WhatsApp policy

The HSE has abandoned a tender procurement process to provide a messaging service for its staff, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned. A spokesperson for the Executive confirmed that it has changed its policy on staff using WhatsApp during the current pandemic. In April 2019, MI reported that the HSE was working on a tender…

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HSE board backs legal protection for BreastCheck audits

The HSE board has agreed that legislative measures should be taken to ensure the continuation of programmatic reviews of interval cancers in the BreastCheck programme, the Medical Independent (MI) has learned. Board meeting minutes show in early 2020 it discussed a recommendation from the expert reference group on the management of interval cancers in the…

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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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