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    From the latest issue
  • Editorial

    Capacity for change?

    Paul Mulholland | 05 Jul 2018

    What do we mean when we say ‘capacity’ in the healthcare system? The obvious aspect that comes to mind is built infrastructure, that is to say, hospitals and beds. But this is only part of the answer. Hospitals without people to work in them would not be hospitals. Though such a statement may seem facetious, it is at the heart of the problem that the group charged with advising on capacity in the Irish healthcare system had with their terms of reference.

  • From previous issues
  • Editorial

    Co-operation a must in CervicalCheck inquiry

    Paul Mulholland | 21 Jun 2018

    The Irish health system is not very good with deadlines. Reports are rarely published on time. Policy decisions have a habit of being pushed back. So the announcement that the scoping inquiry into CervicalCheck will not be completed at the end of June as promised comes as no real surprise. The time-frame of one month and a half to complete its work looked tight from the beginning.

  • Editorial

    Moving on from the Eighth

    Paul Mulholland | 07 Jun 2018

    The decision by the majority of Irish voters to remove the Eighth Amendment from the Constitution and liberalise abortion law in Ireland has seismic consequences.

  • Editorial

    A hot topic in healthcare

    Paul Mulholland | 28 May 2018

    At recent clinical conferences, tucked in among presentations on the latest innovative research and guides to best practice, a topic was discussed that did not require the usual data-rich tables. The lack of complicated charts or graphs to underscore the message, however, does not imply unimportance.

  • Editorial

    A controversy that shows no sign of going away

    Paul Mulholland | 17 May 2018

    Two issues ago, on this page, the topic of cancer screening was raised. Since then, the news pages have been filled with the fallout of the CervicalCheck controversy. The scandal has caused enormous distress to the women involved and has resulted in the Clinical Director of the programme and the Director General of the HSE losing their jobs.

  • Editorial

    The value of experience

    Paul Mulholland | 07 May 2018

    Co-location. Universal health insurance. A new GP contract. Individual Health Identifiers.

  • Editorial

    To screen or not to screen

    Paul Mulholland | 26 Apr 2018

    Health screening is not a clear-cut issue. While identifying diseases at an early stage is a priority for all good health services, the negatives of screening are sometimes found to outweigh the benefits. One negative might be the discovery of false-positives, leading to unnecessary treatment. In cancer, tumours could be detected that were never going to cause harm. This can cause great emotional distress for patients.

  • Editorial

    A meeting of minds

    Catherine Reilly | 16 Apr 2018

    The IMO AGM in Killarney earlier this month provided an ample forum for discussing the ‘big ticket’ issues that stalk the profession: FEMPI, recruitment and retention, capacity and contracts.

  • Editorial

    Prescribing an optimum solution on mental health

    Catherine Reilly | 05 Apr 2018

    In robust comments made recently, the President of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland Dr John Hillery said the equity of financial support for training across medical disciplines was “not transparent and there is a feeling that psychiatry gets less than other medical specialties”.

  • Editorial

    ‘Strategic communications’ on public health

    Catherine Reilly | 26 Mar 2018

    A study on vaccination published in the March edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ) brought to mind Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s alleged ‘vanity project’, the Strategic Communications Unit (SCU). This may seem an odd association to make, but consider the difference that ‘strategic communications’ could have on improving uptake of flu and pertussis vaccination in pregnant women. The €5 million set aside for the SCU in Budget 2018 would sure come in handy for this and other health promotion communications (the SCU has spent around €96k on a Healthy Ireland Campaign).

  • Editorial

    Vital times for organ donation

    Catherine Reilly | 15 Mar 2018

    This month will see the launch of the 2018 Organ Donor Awareness Week (31 March-7 April).

  • Editorial

    Waiting for change

    Priscilla Lynch | 05 Mar 2018

    Many good things are happening, or planned to happen at least, for our health services.

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