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Tag Archives: Minister for Health

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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BreastCheck puts pressure on TDs

The Irish Cancer Society is calling on people in Clare to bring pressure to bear on the four local TDs to support its campaign to extend the free national breast cancer screening programme, BreastCheck, to women aged 65 to 69 in 2015. Women aged 60 to 69 have the second highest incidence of breast cancer and the second highest chance of dying from it. Yet only half of this age group is currently being screened. BreastCheck invites women aged 50 to 64 for free screening every two years. Women who are 65 to 69 are not being screened. The Cancer Society wants to ensure these women are not forgotten about. The society’s head of advocacy and communications, Kathleen O’Meara said, “The 2011 Programme for Government promised an extension of BreastCheck to the 65 to 69 age range. Future Health, the Government’s reform plan for the health service, promised the roll-out would begin in 2014. This has not happened. “The Irish …

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Keith Wood goes healthy

Former Ireland and Munster rugby star, Keith Wood is the first chairperson of the Healthy Ireland Council. His appointment will be formally announced by Minister for Health Dr James Reilly at the inaugural meeting of the council in Dublin Castle on Thursday morning. Mr Wood is a  founding Director of W2 Consulting. Minister Reilly will also announce the names of the 37 members of the council. Healthy Ireland involves a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to improving the health and wellbeing of Irish people over the coming generation. The establishment of the Healthy Ireland Council is the most significant action within Healthy Ireland to leverage engagement with whole-of-society. The council will provide the platform to connect and mobilise communities, families and individuals into a national movement with one aim: supporting everyone to enjoy the best possible health and wellbeing.

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Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins

No more Limerick emergency department for mayor

MAYOR of Clare Joe Arkins said he has decided he will never willingly go back for treatment at the emergency department in University Hospital Limerick. At a meeting of Clare County Council, the mayor said he had spent a night and a day on a trolley in the hospital and that he “decided I’d never be there again if I was conscious”. He made his comments as the council passed a motion calling on the Minister for Health, the HSE and the management of University Hospital Limerick to intervene to stop overcrowding in the emergency department and to stop people being kept on trolleys for long periods of time. The motion was put down by Fianna Fáil’s Pat Hayes, who said the current situation is “a total disgrace” and that there had not been proper preparation for scaling back at Ennis and Nenagh. He claimed when the Minister for Health made a visit there, people on trolleys were moved into …

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