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    From the latest issue
  • Editorial

    Transparency — what’s sauce for the goose...

    Paul Mulholland | 24 Sep 2018

    Following the publication of the Scally report, there has been renewed focus on the issue of open disclosure in the health service. Given the unacceptable comments many of the women at the heart of the inquiry received from medical professionals about their audit results, a push for greater transparency is not only understandable, but necessary.

  • From previous issues
  • Editorial

    Questions remain following pay review

    Paul Mulholland | 13 Sep 2018

    How much are pay issues contributing to recruitment difficulties within the health service? If you ask the IHCA and the IMO, they say salary cuts are the main reason why there are so many consultant vacancies. In particular, the medical representative bodies have pointed to the new-entrant salary cut imposed in 2012 as the main current recruitment obstacle. Yet, according to the Pay Commission, established to examine recruitment and retention issues in the healthcare sector, current pay arrangements are not “a significant impediment to recruitment” in themselves. For example, for NCHDs, the report states that implementation of recommendations from the Seventh Assessment of NCHD Posts on issues such as protected training time and transfer of tasks will have a positive impact on recruitment.

  • Editorial

    Responding to CPE

    Paul Mulholland | 03 Sep 2018

    HIQA announced last week that recent inspections have found some hospitals are not compliant with HSE screening guidelines for carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) superbugs. The continued lack of compliance is particularly concerning given CPE was declared a national emergency in 2017.

  • Editorial

    Making training count

    Catherine Reilly | 23 Aug 2018

    Interns being asked to perform duties above their grade.

  • Editorial

    Time for a new vision

    Paul Mulholland | 09 Aug 2018

    At the turn of the millennium, it was recognised that Ireland’s mental health service needed an overhaul. The process of admitting patients into psychiatric institutions was strongly criticised for not only lacking in transparency, but also for contravening human rights. The Mental Health Act 2001 was introduced to rectify this. At the time of its introduction, the Act was acknowledged as a significant legislative step in advancing human rights protections for these patients. The Act was enacted five years before the publication of A Vision for Change, which also aimed to bring Ireland’s mental health services into the modern world. The mental health strategy sought to transform the existing institutional model of care into one based in the community, and recommended an integrated multidisciplinary approach to addressing the different factors that contribute to mental health problems.

  • Editorial

    The demand for equal pay

    Paul Mulholland | 19 Jul 2018

    When, after years of negotiation, a new consultant contract was finalised in 2008, it was meant to usher in a new era for the health service. The new contract promised consultants pay increases, in return for agreeing to reduce private practice, and working time flexibility. Under the terms of the deal, it was hoped the number of consultants would almost double to about 4,000 over the coming years, thereby creating for the first time in Ireland a truly ‘consultant-led’ health service.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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