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Tag Archives: Minister for Health

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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Public consultation on National Maternity Strategy

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has launched the public consultation process for the new National Maternity Strategy. He has called on members of the public, and especially patients, to make their views known to the Department of Health about what they would like to see in the new strategy. The strategy will aim to ensure that women in Ireland have access to safe, high quality maternity care in a setting which is most appropriate to their needs. Minister Varadkar said, “ The maternity services have come under much public scrutiny recently. There is a clear need to provide reassurance in terms of safety, quality and choice, and I want to hear the views of patients and members of the public in these areas. “In recent weeks, I have heard some horrific accounts of first hand experiences, while others have been full of praise for the service they received. So we would like to find out what areas do we need …

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European investment in Primary Care

Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Minister of State for Primary and Social Care Kathleen Lynch have described the European Investment Bank’s decision to invest €70 million in 14 Primary Care centres as a breakthrough for investment in primary care and great news for patients around the country. The EIB said today it has approved a €70 million loan in principle to invest in the Public Private Partnership project for Primary Care Centres. This represents up to 50% of the finance required to deliver primary care centres at 14 locations in Ireland. The EIB will provide cheaper funding than would be otherwise available. The EIB Board has earmarked the Irish Primary Care Centres as the first projects in Ireland expected to benefit from financing under the European Fund for Strategic Investment, a new initiative seeking to support €315 billion of new investment across Europe and to be managed by the EIB. Since March 2011, 44 Primary Care centres have already opened …

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Varadkar’s coming out ‘will help young people’

KILRUSH man, Brian Sheehan, director of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) has told The Clare Champion that Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s decision to come out as gay indicates how open Ireland has become and will encourage young gay people to pursue whatever career they see fit. “If you’re a young man or woman in school for example, you now know that being lesbian or gay isn’t a barrier to the highest political office. That is a really important point, that no job should be denied you because of who you are,” he said. Mr Sheehan feels that growing up in a small town, like Kilrush, these days is easier for a young gay person. “When I grew up in Kilrush, I didn’t know any gay people. The only gay person I knew in Ireland was David Norris and I didn’t seem to be represented in him. If I was the young me now in Kilrush, there is great …

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Health Minister aims to reduce drug-related deaths

The Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar has pledged to step up efforts to bring about a reduction in the number of drug-related deaths. He was speaking as the 2012 figures from the National Drug-Related Deaths Index have just been published, the last full year for which data is available. It shows a small decline in the overall number of drug-related deaths, and the number of deaths in which heroin was involved also continues to decline. “Drug-related deaths still remain at an unacceptable level, and every death is a tragedy in its own right. We need to continue our efforts to reduce the number of such deaths. “The HSE Service Plan for 2015 includes an additional €2.1m for measures under the National Drugs Strategy targeting vulnerable problem drug users. These measures include enhanced provision for residential detoxification and rehabilitation facilities, and the mainstreaming of needle exchange facilities outside the Dublin area,” the Health Minister said. This funding will also support a …

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Increased tax relief for elderly home care

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has announced an increased tax relief measure to help families to look after an incapacitated elderly relative in their home by employing a nurse or carer. The new tax measure has the potential to free up beds in nursing homes and should also relieve pressure on hospitals by allowing some of the 800 delayed discharge patients to return home, according to Mr Noonan. The amendment to the Finance Act by Minister Noonan will raise the level of tax relief available to employ a professional nurse or carer in the home from €50,000 to €75,000 per annum. “This is a sensible and effective tax measure which will make a real difference to people’s lives. It’s nearly always preferable to care for an elderly relative in the home. That’s why the State provides tax relief for people to employ a nurse or carer in the home,” commented Health Minister, Leo Varadkar. His departmental colleague, Minister Kathleen Lynch said, “Tax …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Limerick hospital crisis: 47 on trolleys

Forty-seven patients were waiting on trolleys, with no available beds, at University Hospital Limerick early this Monday morning. Following on from this, the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation is calling for the implementation of the Major Emergency Plan at University Hospital Limerick to bring about “a level of control and safety at the emergency department.” “At 8am this morning 47 patients, who were admitted in the last 24-48 hours for care, but for whom no beds were available, have been left on trolleys in the emergency department. This is catastrophic and the Major Emergency Plan should have been utilised by management at the hospital to protect the patients, the staff and to assist to make the hospital safe, said Mary Fogarty, INMO industrial relations officer. Ms Fogarty noted that despite the fact that the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in June 2014 detailed a range of risks resulting from the overcrowding in UHL, it still continues. “The INMO has …

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