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Tag Archives: health

HSE defends Shannondoc despite audit criticism

DESPITE an independent auditor’s report claiming Shannondoc had not operated “a robust enough system of internal controls”, the HSE has defended the service and said it is in compliance with the terms under which it receives millions of euro each year. Shannondoc is the out-of hours medical service to residents of the Mid-West. It significantly reduced services in Kilrush, Ennistymon and Killaloe in 2016. On Sunday, a protest march in Ennis at 3pm will highlight cuts to Shannondoc in Clare, along with seeking the restoration of a 24-hour Emergency Department in Ennis. Shannondoc recently filed its accounts for 2017 and, in these, Neil W Mulcahy of Limerick- based MGM Accountants wrote, “In our opinion, the company did not operate a robust enough system of internal controls during the period, leading to inadequate control over the purchasing and outsourcing functions”. He added, “This lack of control meant that we were unable to conduct a proper audit of regularity within the purchasing …

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HPV campaigner Laura Brennan dies

HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan has lost her battle with terminal cancer on Wednesday. The Ennis woman who had become one of Ireland’s leading patient advocates and campaigners for the HPV vaccine passed away on Wednesday at University Hospital Limerick. In a statement the Brennan family said, “Laura was a light in the life of everyone who knew her; a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. We are lost without her. “We are all incredibly proud of the work she did in the last 18 months to help protect other young women like herself from the cancer that has taken her life today. Laura used her voice, her generosity and her energy to help parents to make informed choices and protect their daughters from cervical cancer. She wanted to make a difference, and use the time that she had to right what she felt was a great wrong.” The family have appealed for privacy. Funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised. …

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New Research Paper Highlights Inequity in Anomaly Scan Offering

A NEW research paper published by the Irish Medical Journal, which was co-written by a South East Clare obstetrician, has revealed pregnant women living outside of Dublin only have a 38% chance of being offered an anomaly scan in the public system. Parteen native Dr Karen McNamara is a specialist registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology and a clinical research fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University College Cork. She was involved in compiling the recently-published research, Maternity Ultrasound in the Republic of Ireland 2016; A Review. Dr McNamara noted the number of women being offered an anomaly scan outside of Dublin stands at 38%, a number that has remained largely unchanged despite it being highlighted in previous pieces of research in 2007, 2012 and 2013. She said the review she conducted with Dr Deirdre Hayes Ryan, Dr Noirin Russell, Professor Louise Kenny and Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, showed an inequity in the service that pregnant women are receiving; most notably, that 100% of public patients are being offered the anomaly scan if they attend maternity services in Dublin but only 38% are offered it elsewhere in the country. …

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Element Six staff on their bikes for charity

Element Six staff are set to get on their bikes to raise funds for a charity that has provided valuable support to a child of a worker at the Shannon based multi-national’s plant. Members of staff will take on a 50km cycle in south east Clare as a ‘thank you’ to Cliona’s Foundation for its support for two year old Fionna Barry, who has spent most of his young life in hospital being treated for Infantile Spasms – a debilitating and life limiting illness that requires 24hour care. Fionn’s father Trevor Barry works at Element 6 and staff have chosen Cliona’s Foundation as its designated charity for the year to give something back to the Limerick based organisation for its support for the two year old. Fionn was diagnosed with the illness when he was just six months old and is unable to walk, stand or even sit unaided. He has also speech challenges and is visually impaired. The cycle …

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Sinn Féin campaign on health issues

SINN Féin continued its campaign for an Irish National Health Service with a series of engagements today (Tuesday) in County Clare, concluding with a public meeting ‘Save our Health Service’ at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis. The party’s health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly said, “For the last number of weeks, we have taken our campaign for an Irish National Health Service on the road and have already visited Donegal, Mayo, Sligo, Westmeath, Cork and Limerick.” She said they had a series of meetings in Ennis, including with the INMO, Clare Crusaders, Shandoc campaigners, SIPTU disability workers and other individuals. “Sinn Féin is campaigning for an Irish National Health Service and an end to the chaos in our hospitals. We want to hear from as broad a range of voices as possible,” she concluded

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Clare homeowners urged to check for lead piping

Irish Water is urging all homeowners in Clare whose houses were built before 1980 to check their internal plumbing for lead pipes. Public drinking water supplies are lead free but lead, which poses a serious health risk, can dissolve in drinking water from internal lead pipes which are common in older homes and buildings. Irish Water is confident that lead piping has been removed from the public water distribution mains but the utility estimates that approximately 180,000 homes in Ireland and hundreds of commercial and public buildings still have internal lead plumbing, including lead service pipes from the water main to the stopcock. Of the homes affected around the country, about 40,000 are thought to have shared backyard (common service pipes) which Irish Water will be targeting the replacement of over the next five years. Irish Water is issuing this advice as it launches an eight week period of public consultation on its draft ‘Lead in Drinking Water Mitigation Plan’ …

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Call goes out for hospital upgrade

Mayor of Ennis Johnny Flynn has led the call for a meeting with the new CEO of UL Hospital Group in a bid to secure a 24-hour emergency department at Ennis General Hospital. Another Ennis Municipal District Councillor, James Breen, has challenged the council members to hold a protest at the next meeting of the HSE and offered to lead the protest wherever the meeting is taking place. Professor Colette Cowan was appointed to head the hospital group last December and Councillor Flynn said it is time to take their case to the new CEO to try to put a stop to the drain of health expertise from the county into Limerick. Speaking at a Clare County Council meeting, Councillor Flynn said the drain of expertise began a decade ago with the set-up of the HSE and has snowballed to such an extent that stopping it is like trying to turn an oil tanker. “When you looked at the HSE …

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Gaining confidence, inch by inch

FOR the last few months, Mark Kearney has been drawing puzzled glances from people he meets on the streets, even from people he has known for years. He is close to unrecognisable from the man he was on St Patrick’s Day, after shedding almost 11 stone in the space of seven months. The weight loss came after a religiously-observed diet and the re-introduction of exercise into his life. When he started the weight loss programme in April, Mark, who lives in Ennis, was 25 stone and nine pounds but when he finished in early October, he was down to 14 stone and 11 pounds, a fairly appropriate weight for his 6’5 frame. It’s hardly surprising that he wasn’t satisfied with life at 25 stone and he says the weight was draining the positives from him in all sorts of ways. “Being that weight was affecting my whole life. Going in for interviews for jobs [he was then unemployed], it was …

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