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Large increase in outsourced occupational medicine expenditure

The HSE spent almost €794,786 on outsourced occupational medicine services in 2020, compared to €99,292 in 2019 and €297,413 in 2018. The largest amount expended in 2020 was for “support services” accounting for €772,925, according to figures released to the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information law. The HSE refused to release its service…

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97% of trainees entering HST were EU nationals – Council report

Eighty-six per cent of trainees appointed to basic specialist training (BST) programmes in 2018/2019 were from the EU and 14 per cent were “international”, according to a Medical Council report on specialist training annual returns data. Additionally, some 97 per cent of trainees who entered higher specialist training were EU candidates. “The majority of training…

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Burgeoning level of non-Covid care ‘a very significant problem’

17th National Health Summit, virtual conference, 10 February 2021 The accumulation of non-Covid-19 cases within the health system is a “very significant problem”, the annual National Health Summit heard earlier this month. “During the month of January our largest cancer centre for the whole of the west and north west of Ireland, serving a population…

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Dismay at ‘disgraceful’ treatment of Ireland’s public health doctors

17th National Health Summit, virtual conference, 10 February 2021 The fact that Irish public health doctors are not granted similar contracts to their clinical colleagues is “disgraceful”, the 17th National Health Summit heard. Prof Gabriel Scally, Visiting Professor of Public Health, Bristol University, UK, and a member of Independent SAGE, said public health doctors in…

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Staff recovery must be monitored by hospital managers

17th National Health Summit, virtual conference, 10 February 2021 Hospital managers will need to “keep an eye” on the mental and physical health of healthcare staff in the coming months of the pandemic and post-pandemic period, the annual National Health Summit was told. Mr Tony Canavan, CEO, Saolta University Health Care Group, said such monitoring…

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Pandemic exposed urgent need for unique patient number

17th National Health Summit, virtual conference, 10 February 2021 The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine and the current test and trace system may help the development of a unique patient identifier, the HSE CEO Mr Paul Reid recently told the National Health Summit. Agreeing that the patient identifier system is needed, Mr Reid told online…

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Remote working for Cancer Registry may continue post-pandemic

National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) staff based remotely may continue working from home after the pandemic as the new arrangements “reduced the amount of time spent in hospitals”, according to NCRI board minutes.In September 2020, Director Prof Kerri Clough-Gorr told the NCRI board meeting that a draft remote working policy for the NCRI had been…

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Medico-legal concerns about photographic colonoscopy review

The clinical leads in some BowelScreen units “ceased reviewing” photographic evidence of colonoscopies having questioned its “validity” as a performance measure and whether the practice “exposes the sites medico-legally”. The matter was noted at BowelScreen’s clinical advisory group (CAG) on 20 July 2020 during a discussion on updates to a guidance document on “possible colonoscopy…

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HIQA not planning covert surveillance despite UK expert report

HIQA has “no plans” to use covert surveillance in disability or older persons’ centres despite an independent review recommending that the UK Care Quality Commission (CQC) develop guidance on when it could be utilised in rare circumstances. In 2019, following a BBC Panorama programme showing abuses of people with learning disabilities and/or autism at Whorlton…

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Post of regional psychosocial lead to be established

The HSE is to establish the post of regional psychosocial lead as part of plans for a new national health sector psychosocial programme board (NHSPPB). The developments are the result of work undertaken by the national health sector psychosocial response steering group set up in response to the pandemic. Details of the plans are contained…

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