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General practice and the pandemic: The story so far

Since the emergence of Covid-19, GPs have worked in the face of ongoing challenges to meet the needs of patients. Niamh Cahill reports On 3 March, the ICGP issued a statement on the emerging Covid-19 crisis. Speaking at the time, the then ICGP President Dr Mary Favier said: “We are in an ever-changing situation.” The…

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Containing Covid-19 in the Mid-West

A report, recently published by the Department of Public Health, HSE Mid-West, provides an insight into the work of public health staff in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. Niamh Cahill reports The spread of Covid-19 between individuals in the Mid-West was highlighted extensively in the mainstream media recently on foot of a public health report.…

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Behind the lines of Irish occupational medicine

As long-standing issues around resourcing and recognition deepen during the pandemic, specialists in occupational medicine warn of a ‘tipping point’. Catherine Reilly reports Occupational health departments are the ‘engine rooms’ of healthcare – or as one observer described, the ‘thin line protecting the frontline’. From pre-placement assessments to blood exposure management, immunisations to health surveillance,…

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Positive developments within the field of cystic fibrosis

Ms Sarah Tecklenborg, Senior Research and Policy Coordinator, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, provides an overview of the latest Irish cystic fibrosis research, including the impact of Covid-19 on people with the condition At the recent European Cystic Fibrosis Society conference, held online on 24-25 September, Prof Ed McKone, Consultant Respiratory Physician, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin,…

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When the race for a vaccine is over

The Covid-19 vaccine race is a global news story. But what happens if and when a vaccine is developed? David Lynch looks at looming challenges of access, availability, and distribution Much of the coverage of the drive for a Covid-19 vaccine is focused on the speed of development, its safety, effectiveness and, most prominently, when…

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Irish Latch On study seeks to improve breastfeeding outcomes in women with raised BMI

Maternal overweight and obesity are known to be associated with lower rates of breastfeeding success. Niamh Cahill highlights efforts underway in Ireland to boost rates through a new multicentre randomised control trial Research shows that overweight and obesity leads to a 13 per cent reduction in breastfeeding initiation followed by a sharp drop off after…

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Addressing global inequalities in health – a reflection on World Anaesthesia Day 2020

Dr Brian Kinirons, President of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland, outlines the work of the College in building physician anaesthesiology capacity in Africa and tackling inequities to improve universal access to high-quality anaesthesia care In the early 1800s surgery was a gruesome affair that most people avoided. In the absence of an anaesthetic, patients…

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Coming to America: The contribution of immigrant healthcare workers

The US may sometimes seem a cold place for immigrants despite their indispensable role in sustaining the country’s healthcare sector, writes Bette Browne The first black and Asian-American woman nominated as a US Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Kamala Harris, cites her Indian mother’s pioneering work in America’s healthcare sector as one of the factors that…

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Area medical officers and the long fight for equality

Some 16 HSE area medical officers (AMOs) are seeking pay and conditions on a par with that of their senior medical officer (SMO) colleagues. Niamh Cahill reports “The IMO was very disappointed with the outcome of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in relation to this issue but remain committed to addressing this longstanding unfair treatment…

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A question of resilience

Dr Steve Thomas (PhD) argues why it is important to make health systems resilient in the face of shocks, such as Covid-19 Catastrophic events occurring over the last decade or so have highlighted the need to understand how to govern health systems in the face of shocks. In high-income countries this was triggered by the…

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