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Tag Archives: Health Minister

Health insurance companies must eliminate small print – Conway

THOUSANDS of Clare patients have been urged to seek clarity on what their private health insurance documentation covers before signing up for another year. Senator Martin Conway has urged the health insurance industry to eliminate small print from all their documentation in order to ensure all customers are fully aware of what they are covered for. The Fine Gael Spokesperson on Health in the Seanad said it is not acceptable that people only discover that they have either partial cover or no cover at all when they are in need of a medical procedure. “This is adding to the stress and anxiety that people are facing during what is a traumatic and difficult period in their lives. “The last thing that somebody facing medical treatment should be anxious about is whether their health insurance will cover them or not. They deserve to know that information and not have to find it out when the cover is needed. “I also believe …

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Oireachtas members concerned over threat of nurses’s industrial action

FEARS have been expressed about the serious implications any strike at University Hospital Limerick will have on patient care following the decision of the INMO to ballot for industrial action. Deputy Michael McNamara recalled there have been calls in recent months to reduce overcrowding in UHL and the need to increase medical facilities in smaller hospitals such as and Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals. The chairman of the Covid-19 Special Dáil Committee stressed the time for talking about these improvements was now over and it was time that action is taken to address serious shortcomings in UHL. If necessary, Deputy McNamara said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly should be asked to intervene to prevent the threatened strike. Deputy Violet Anne-Wynne called on Health Minister Donnelly to intervene in a bid to avert the threatened strike. She called for a recruitment campaign in UHL as staff like porters and cleaners are experiencing staff shortages. “I am shocked Minister Donnelly hasn’t stepped in already …

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deputies differ on easing of Covid-19 restrictions

HEALTH Minister Simon Harris is coming under pressure to ease some of the Covid-19 restrictions in Clare following official confirmation the incidence of the virus is the second lowest in Munster. According to official figures, Waterford has the lowest number of confirmed cases in Munster on Wednesday with 138 compared to 229 in Clare, 288 in Kerry, 370 in Tipperary, 518 in Limerick and 1,126 in Cork. Even when population is taken into account, Clare has the second lowest incidence of Covid-19 per head in the province. As frustration grows over how many weeks Clare people will be forced to remain in a restrictive national lockdown, Deputy Michael McNamara has presented a strong case for the need to apply a different level of restrictions in different regions subject to public health guidance. New EU guidelines for the control of Covid-19 have proposed that national lockdowns could be replaced by targeted regional measures. However, the new EU guidelines also recommend that …

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Agreement on childhood vaccination schedule

The National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP) has welcomed the intervention of Minister Simon Harris who has announced that agreement has been reached to deliver the new Childhood Vaccination Schedule. While not party to the negotiations on the new vaccine schedule,the GPs’ association sought the intervention of the Minister for Health to avoid a potential delay in commencement. The new schedule will include the Meningococcal B and Rotavirus vaccines for new-borns. NAGP president,Dr Emmet Kerin, said, “I welcome the announcement that the new Childhood Vaccination Schedule will proceed as planned, following agreement on the terms and conditions for delivery. The NAGP campaigned for the introduction of the Meningococcal B vaccine and were disappointed in the lack of engagement by the HSE with GP representative bodies. I commend the IMO on the tenacity with which they pursued the timely delivery of this life-saving vaccine and ensuring the adequate resourcing of this additional service”. Dr Kerin continued, “I welcome the minister’s comments …

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ALONE wants scrutiny of private nursing homes

ALONE, the charity that supports older people in need, has called on Health Minister, Leo Varadkar to ensure that a robust system is put in place to ensure all individual complaints made against nursing homes are independently investigated. A new Memorandum of Agreement between HIQA and the Ombudsman excludes private nursing homes where almost 18,000 older people reside. Sean Moynihan, chief executive Officer of ALONE said, “There are currently 700 allegations of mistreatment and bad practices at nursing and care homes in Ireland; this is a matter of grave concern to us and to older people generally. HIQA does not have the power to investigate individual complaints and as a result older people have been left with nowhere to turn”. Moynihan explained, “Currently vulnerable older people are being asked to complain to the organisation that they are alleging abuse against. The new Memorandum of Agreement between HIQA and the Ombudsman only protects the 20% of older people residing in public …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Hospital overcrowding a ‘national emergency’

HEALTH Minister, Leo Varadkar is coming under increasing pressure to tackle the chronic overcrowding in the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Deputy Timmy Dooley said the HSE has stated the new emergency department (ED) in Limerick will not be fully operational until next year, due to its requirement to comply with national value-for-money procurement procedures. However, he believes the declaration of a national emergency would allow the HSE to set aside procurement procedures for a short period of time, in the interest of patient safety. “Overcrowding should be treated as a national emergency. If people are going to die as a result of the crisis that has emerged, it is obvious the mechanisms delaying the investment benefiting patients need to be set aside. “Work needs to be advanced to open the new ED as quickly as possible. The HSE has stated it will be 2016 before the new fit will be completed, due to procurement procedures, which is …

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