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Tag Archives: Simon Harris

Green light for children’s hospital

THE Minister for Health, Simon Harris has announced that the Government has approved the investment required to enable the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board to award the construction contracts for the building of the main children’s hospital on the St James’s Hospital campus and the two paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres on the Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals campuses. This decision means that the project can proceed without delay. Construction of the new children’s hospital will commence within weeks. At the site of the new children’s hospital, Minister Harris said, “Today (Wednesday) is a huge step forward for the children’s hospital project, ending years of doubt as to whether it would ever be built.  Today, there is no more doubt.  This hospital will be built. The new state of the art children’s hospital, and the two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres, will provide a fitting place where we can provide our children with the best modern clinical care. “Our children …

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Harris notes moves on hospitals agreement

The Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) noted the publication of the agreement between the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s Healthcare Group by the two hospitals. In a statement, the Department of Health said, “The minister also particularly welcomes the confirmation by the board of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group that any medical procedure which is in accordance with the laws of this State will be carried out at the new hospital.” The statement continued, “ The boards of both hospitals are meeting this week and will no doubt review progress to date. The minister and his officials will arrange meetings with the two hospitals shortly. The minister repeats his request that some time be allowed for the detailed work that is necessary. The project is at the very early stages with a planning decision on the hospital not expected until the autumn.” Minister Harris, the statement noted, said the location of all maternity hospitals on the sites of adult …

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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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Medical card changes for over 70s

Minister for Health Simon Harris has announced that 390,000 people over 70 years with a medical card, including their dependants, will benefit from reductions to prescription charges. From this Wednesday, prescription charges will be reduced from €2.50 to €2 per item and in addition the maximum monthly limit will be reduced from €25 to €20 per person or family per month. These changes will benefit over 390,000 medical card holders, advancing a key Programme for Government commitment to reduce the cost of medicines for medical card holders. Commenting on move, Minister Harris said,“I am very pleased to be in a position to announce its immediate effect. Naturally as we grow older, we require more medical help and assistance and from tomorrow, 390,000 of our older friends and family will pay less for their medicines”.

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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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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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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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