In The News

Over 200 patients on Suboxone

In April 203 patients attended for opioid substitution treatment (OST) with buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone), according to information provided by the HSE. A HSE spokesperson said addiction services in each Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) are prescribing the medication.  Suboxone, the brand name for buprenorphine/naloxone, is an alternative substitution treatment for opioid drug dependence. New regulations were introduced…

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Scope of NCHD ED overtime underpayments ‘potentially large’

The potential liability of overtime underpayments to emergency medicine NCHDs at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) may be “large”, according to IMO Industrial Relations Officer for Consultants and NCHDs Mr Paul Maier. UHL has stated that “anomalies” in calculation of overtime premium entitlements were identified as a pay calculation error in November 2018 and the cause…

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No ‘sustained improvement’ in delayed discharges since 2015 – HSE report

There are “no signals of a sustained improvement” in the number of delayed discharges in the Irish health service since 2015, a document provided to the HSE Directorate has stated. The directorate quality profile for May was presented to the Directorate meeting for that month and has been obtained by the Medical Independent through Freedom…

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Council considered applying for suspension of 16 doctors

The Medical Council considered applying for immediate suspension of the registration of 16 doctors in 2018, with proceedings against two of these doctors considered twice. Section 60 of the Medical Practitioners Act 2007 allows the Council to make an ex parte application to the court for an order to suspend a doctor’s registration if this…

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HSE’s organ donation chief warns Health Minister of ‘very significant’ deficit

The director of the HSE’s organ donation agency has appealed to Minister for Health Simon Harris for “direct intervention” to address a “very significant infrastructure deficit” that is limiting organ donation and transplant in Ireland. In correspondence on 14 June, Prof Jim Egan, Director of Organ Donation Transplant Ireland (ODTI), also informed Minister Harris that…

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HSE audit committee has ‘major concerns’ over finances

The HSE audit committee has raised “major concerns” over the HSE’s “continuing and predicted budgetary shortfalls” and says it is “disturbed” by ongoing financial control weaknesses. The concerns were outlined by the HSE audit committee in its annual report for 2018, which has been seen by the Medical Independent following a Freedom of Information request.…

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‘Millions’ in IBTS discounts under threat post-Brexit

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) has saved an average of €350,000 annually on blood bags alone over the past five years, in discounts obtained through NHS Blood and Transplant bulk procurement – savings that could end following Brexit. In an interview with the Medical Independent (MI), IBTS CEO Mr Andrew Kelly said the service…

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New law ‘won’t criminalise’ doctors – DoH

The Patient Safety Bill does not intend to “impose criminal penalties on individual health professionals on a personal basis”, with regard to open disclosure obligations, the Department of Health has informed the Medical Independent (MI). Its spokesperson said the Bill will oblige health service providers to engage in open disclosure, but added healthcare professionals “do…

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Irish surgical mortality audit remains stalled

A national audit that would aim to reduce surgical deaths has remained stalled since 2013, with RCSI President Mr Ken Mealy not expecting its commencement “any time soon”. The initiative has been on hold within the National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA) awaiting legal protection to ensure subjective peer-to-peer review of each death is confidential…

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Vital Irish health research ‘being terminated’

Important health research projects that could lead to “life-changing therapies” are being terminated due to new Irish data protection regulations, the RCPI’s Faculty of Pathology has warned. In a statement to the Medical Independent (MI) the Faculty said it was concerned about the impact that new data protection legislation and Health Research Regulations 2018 implemented…

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