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Tag Archives: Minister for Health

New body for children’s hospitals

Minister for Health, Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) announced the publication of the General Scheme of the Children’s Health Bill 2017. This will create a single statutory entity to run the new national Children’s Hospital. The new body will take over the services of the existing three Dublin children’s hospitals, (Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, and the National Children’s Hospital at Tallaght Hospital), and run the new children’s hospital, which is being built on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital, as well as the paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals. Minister Harris said, “This is a very important step on the road towards the new children’s hospital and follows the Government decision in April to approve the construction investment for the hospital and associated outpatient and urgent care centres. This new hospital is an extraordinary opportunity to transform paediatric services for children in Ireland by bringing together patients and …

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Patient experience survey launched

The first ever National Patient Experience Survey has been launched this morning (Wednesday) by Minister for Health Simon Harris. This survey gives patients an opportunity to describe their experiences in order for this information to be used to improve our health service. Commencing on 1 May 2017, all adult patients who are discharged from a public acute hospital during this month will be invited to participate in the survey. Up to 27,000 patients will be eligible to take part, making this the largest single survey of the healthcare system in Ireland. Patients will be asked 61 questions on topics such as confidence and trust in hospital staff, hospital food, care and treatment, and whether their medications and possible side-effects were explained before discharge from hospital. A joint initiative by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health, the National Patient Experience Survey Programme will use data collected from the survey to …

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Bill for supervised drugs injecting

The Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill 2017, which was approved by Cabinet this morning, will allow the Minister for Health to issue a licence, with conditions, to operate a supervised injecting facility. This is a controlled environment where drug users may self-administer, by injection, drugs they have brought with them. Such facilities will provide access to clean, sterile injecting equipment and have trained staff on hand to provide emergency care in the event of an overdose, as well as advice on treatment and rehabilitation. They will also help alleviate the problems associated with injecting on the street, including drug-related litter. The Bill does not establish a location for a supervised injecting facility, but a pilot facility is planned for Dublin city centre. The HSE have established a working group to gather data, consider possible options and to undertake consultation before any decision is made. Minister for Health Simon Harris and Minister of State for Communities and the National …

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Child vaccines from GPs

Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Thursday) welcomed the commencement of the Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccination programme. Parents can now avail of Meningococcal B and Rotavirus vaccinations from their family doctor. The rollout follows consultation under the Framework Agreement between the Irish Medical Organisation, the Department of Health and the HSE. The Minister stated, “I am pleased that today Meningitis B and Rotavirus vaccines have been added to the Primary Childhood Immunisation Programme. I again want to thank the IMO and GPs for helping us deliver this Programme.I look forward to continuing dialogue with the IMO and GPs, in particular in relation to the development of a new and modernised GP contract. ” All babies born on, or after October 1, 2016 will receive vaccines for Meningococcal B (Men B) and Rotavirus disease in addition to the other childhood vaccines currently given. The first doses of these vaccines are given at two months of age, which means that …

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Dr Harty chairs Health Committee

CLARE Independent TD, Dr Michael Harty has been appointed chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health. Reflecting on his appointment, Dr Harty said he stood for election in Clare with a commitment to improve services in rural Ireland and to try to make some positive contribution to improving our health system. “Health is one of the greatest challenges facing our country at the present time. As a general practitioner, I am acutely aware of the difficulties encountered by our people as they try to grapple with the shortcomings of the health services,” he said. Deputy Harty continued, “I hope this committee will have an important role in shaping policy and legislation that will positively impact on our health services in the coming years. Because of the makeup of the new Dáil, committees have an opportunity to influence government as never before. I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the committee and promise them and all who are invited …

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Students deplore mental health cuts

The Union of Students in Ireland is calling on newly-appointed Minister for Health Simon Harris to reverse the diversion of €12 million from Mental Health Services announced by his predecessor. USI highlighted the dangers in a protest outside the Dáil. “Over 120,000 people took part in the Pieta House’s Darkness into Light walks last Saturday,” USI president, Kevin Donoghue, said. “The annually increasing numbers of people who come out in the early hours of the morning to support Pieta House’s Darkness into Light reflects how Irish people want mental health to be prioritised. The Government needs to prioritise mental health too. This diversion of funds will cost lives. It sends the message that mental health services can wait for funding, but it does not match the reality of the demand. It is an urgent problem at crisis point, requiring urgent action.” USI is calling on Simon Harris to reverse the diversion of the €12 million which was ring-fenced for Mental …

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General election to get GP treatment?

CLARE doctors have not ruled out the possibility of fielding a candidate in the general election if Government does not approve a rescue package to save rural practices. Local GPs are prepared to consider entering the political arena if Health Minister Leo Varadkar doesn’t sign off on funding of an estimated €13.8 million nationally to safeguard the future viability of such practices. The possibility increases the pressure on Clare’s three Government TDs – Fine Gael deputies Pat Breen and Joe Carey and Labour’s Michael McNamara to deliver on previous commitments before a public meeting in Corofin Community Hall on Thursday, January 7 next. Almost 300 people packed into Corofin hall last month to support a campaign to reverse cuts imposed on rural practice over the last four years. The organisers secured a commitment from Deputies Breen, Carey, McNamara and Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley that they would attend the January 7 meeting. Speaking to The Clare Champion, Dr Liam Glynn claimed the Government has …

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Trained personnel to administer life-saving medicines

Trained members of the public, under new legislation , will in emergency situations, be allowed to administer life-saving rescue medicines. The new laws introduced by Health Minister Leo Varadkar covers glucagon for diabetic hypoglycaemia, adrenaline auto-injectors for severe allergic reactions and glyceryl trinitrate for angina. can been Between 2007 and 2013, 16,722 people died in Ireland after suffering a heart attack from multiple causes, 359 died following an acute asthma attack, 17 from hypoglycaemia, and four from severe allergic shock. Minister Varadkar said, “These are important new healthcare initiatives which have the potential to save lives. I am allowing organisations such as colleges, workplaces and sports venues to hold emergency ‘rescue’ medicines and arrange for staff to be trained in their use. Pharmacists will also be able to supply and administer these medicines to individuals in emergency circumstances. “These new arrangements do not in any way change the existing ‘good Samaritan’ rule which allows any member of the public to …

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