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Weekly ‘low-risk’ alcohol guidelines to be reviewed

A review and update of the weekly low-risk alcohol guidelines is upcoming and changes in drinking patterns during the pandemic will inform the process, this newspaper has been told. The weekly low-risk alcohol guidelines were last assessed in 2015 following a review commissioned by the HSE. The HSE Alcohol Programme has since been established and…

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‘Enormous number’ of ED patients in current pandemic phase

Emergency departments (EDs) have recently been experiencing large numbers of presentations during the current phase of the pandemic, Dr Fergal Hickey, President of the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine, has told the Medical Independent. “If you look at the HSE and Government statements, they seem to focus exclusively on ICU admissions,” said Dr Hickey, who…

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One-in-five trainees report ‘no action’ following bullying complaints – Medical Council survey

Almost one-in-five of trainees who were bullied in post told a person in authority, but “nothing happened”. A further 7 per cent informed a person in authority and did not know what happened subsequently, while 6.6 per cent told someone in authority and action was taken, according to data in the Medical Council’s recently published…

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Work ongoing to replace Beaumont’s ‘unstable’ information system

Beaumont Hospital in Dublin is continuing to work on replacing its legacy information system, which was the subject of concerns raised at its audit committee last year. Progressing the replacement of the Beaumont Hospital Information System (BHIS) has been a longstanding aim of the hospital and was described as a key action in its 2015-2020…

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Delays in outpatient commissioning due to pandemic and cyberattack

An internal National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) report from last year detailed problems regarding thecommissioning of outpatient activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic and cyberattack, the Medical Independent(MI) can report. According to the Report on Commissioning, which was presented to the NTPF’s board in July 2021 and obtained by MI through Freedom of Information law,…

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Activity-based funding targets not reached – HSE

Many of the targets identified in the first activity-based funding (ABF) implementation plan have not been achieved, according to the HSE. The first ABF implementation plan covered the years 2015 to 2017, with the second planpublished at the end of December 2021.The ABF Implementation Plan 2021-23 stated that progress had been made in the area,…

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ISSPHM to publish position paper on ‘better pandemic control’

The Irish Society of Specialists in Public Health Medicine (ISSPHM) will soon sign off on its first position paper on “better pandemic control now and into the future”. The ISSPHM was formally launched in December to represent the views of specialists in public health medicine in Ireland. Speaking at the online launch of the ISSPHM,…

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New learning analytics unit for health professionals

Work on a national learning analytics unit for health professionals is in the “early stages” of planning, this newspaper can report. The HSE is providing “initial seed funding” to develop the unit, which will be hosted in the College of Anaesthesiologists in Dublin. A presentation on the proposed unit was delivered at the October meeting…

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Legal consultancy fees rising due to growing workload – Medical Council

The rise in legal consultancy expenditure by the Medical Council in 2020 was associated with the regulator’s increasing volume of work, the Covid-19 pandemic, and legislative changes, a spokesperson has told the Medical Independent (MI). The regulator’s annual report for 2020 noted that legal consultancy fees rose to €526,274 from €258,500 in 2019. The Council’s…

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Lack of private prescription data raised

Lack of visibility of the private prescription of controlled drugs has been raised at a Medical Council stakeholdergroup on overprescribing. Minutes of the group’s meetings, obtained by the Medical Independent (MI) under Freedom of Information law, also reported “concern that Ireland could go down the same route as the US regarding opioid addiction”. The stakeholder…

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