Independent midwife Philomena Canning (centre) has been reinstated by the Health Service Executive to assist in home births. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Solicitors for HSE say ‘necessary foundation’ no longer exists for temporary suspension

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: ‘proposing something of a halfway house’ for legislation on assisted human reproduction. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Analysis: obvious focus of disagreement is plan to legislate for surrogacy

Aviva is promoting GP consultations for their members via smartphone while the VHI has teamed up with an online service through which customers can get prescriptions. Photograph: Getty Images

IMO calls on Government to stop health insurers offering GP services by Skype

Clinics fear the Children and Family Relationships Bill, which proposes to create a national register of sperm and egg donors, will lead to a reduction in donations and encourage more couples with fertility issues to seek help abroad. Photograph: Alan Betson /The Irish Times

Fertility clinics fear Children and Family Relationships Bill will lead to reduction in donations

Breast cancer survivor Teresa Doran, Mullingar calls for an extension of the screening programme at Leinster House in 2014. The only breast cancer surgeon at Letterkenny General Hospital says the Saolta University Hospitals Group want to close the service down and centralise it in Galway. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Donegal cancer surgeon Michael Sugrue raises concerns over lack of resources

Overall, death rates have been falling for over half a century, but the rate of improvement across social groups varied greatly during the boom, Prof Richard Layte of the ESRI said. Photograph: Getty Images

Study highlights role of alcohol in driving gap in life expectancy across social groups

The ESRI research adds to the science supporting further measures to reduce alcohol consumption, by marking the role played by digestive diseases (notably cirrhosis caused by excess drinking) in the mortality rates between rich and poor. Photograph: The Irish Times

Stark difference noticeable along class lines, with better-off accounting for most of gains

 Prof Richard Layte of the ESRI said the research provided the first analysis of the way differentials in mortality changed during the last three decades in Ireland. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Improvement ‘took off’ from 2000 but seeds of trend sown earlier during 1990s

Key driver in improved mortality rate has been reductions in smoking. Photograph: The Irish Times

Gains in living standards and adoption of healthier lifestyles cited as key reasons

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