A failure to create a single governance system for the two hospitals when the maternity hospital moves to St Vincent’s will waste taxpayers’ money and could increase the risk of costly litigation, according to Prof Michael Keane. File photograph: Dave Meehan

St Vincent's director warns running maternity unit separately could cause delays

St Vincent’s University Hospital. St Vincent’s  is eight-10 times bigger than Holles Street, based on patient or staff numbers, so the potential for it to dwarf the maternity hospital is obvious. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Both see benefits of National Maternity Hospital’s move but differ on who takes charge

A new report highlights the need for women of childbearing age to have higher intakes of folic acid in order to reduce rates of severe birth defects in Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

FSAI report says mandatory fortification of bread best option to cut spina bifida rates

Marie Cunningham, who has scoliosis, holds on to a chair for support in her home in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

‘Walking is really bad ... I have to use crutches to help hold me up as I get exhausted’

In 2015, 133 scoliosis surgeries were carried out, 51 per cent more than in 2014, according to the HSE. Photograph: AP

Despite HSE resources and outsourcing to UK and private sector, queues still growing

 Eoin Byrne and Maree Butler leaving the Coroner’s Court for the verdict of the death of their son Darragh. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Family of baby Darragh Byrne critical of failings of Coombe maternity hospital in 2013

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland’s decision to cancel the registration of Edel Maria Fitzgerald was confirmed earlier this month by the High Court. Photograph: Reuters

Footage from hidden cameras showed nurse taking €50 sums belonging to 97-year-old

Staff parking is being constricted to help ease traffic congestion. At present 54 per cent of St James’s Hospital staff drive to work. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Union has voted for action against plans to cut spaces for National Children’s Hospital

 Portlaoise hospital. The families of babies who died at Portlaoise hospital may never find out if those responsible for the care of their children were disciplined by the health service, the head of the Health Service Executive has warned. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

HSE boss says families may never know if hospital staff members were disciplined

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: he instructed his officials to put pressure on the HSE

A report on whether staff need to be disciplined has effectively stalled

National Women’s Council of Ireland director  Orla O’Connor: “Women must be able to trust their maternity hospital that they will be treated in a compassionate and non-judgmental way.” Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Dublin hospital denies banning procedure for reasons relating to its Catholic ethos

 Eilish Hardiman, chief executive,  Children’s Hospital Group (left), Matilda, Ashleigh and Isabel Kiernan from Lucan, Minister for Children James Reilly, Minister for Health  Leo Varadkar and Mona Baker chief executive,  Temple Street Hospital (right) at Crumlin Children’s Hospital to celebrate the decision by an Bord Pleanála to grant permission for the new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St. James’s Hospital. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

‘It is not the aim ... to force those travelling with sick children to use public transport’

Artist’s impression of the structure to be built as the national children’s hospital at the St James’s site in Rialto, Dublin. Image: Children’s Hospital Group/PA

The planning saga is over. Next step is funding construction at the St James’s site

Artist’s impression of proposed patient rooms at the site of the new state-of-the-art children’s hospital to be co-located at St James’s Hospital,  Dublin. Image: Children’s Hospital Group/PA Wire

Construction to start after demolition of old buildings, with opening planned for 2020

Artist’s impression issued by Children’s Hospital Group of proposed family accommodation block at the site of the new state-of-the-art children’s hospital at St James’s Hospital in Dublin. Image: Children’s Hospital Group/PA Wire

Money that could have been spent on healing sick children has been squandered

An aerial view of the proposed site for the new national children’s hospital at St James’s, Dublin

There will be 675 spaces reserved for use by patients and visitors at St James’s site

Plans to limit the use of private cars by users of the new national children’s hospital are “ambitious” but achievable, according to the planning inspector’s report

Inspector says no healthcare site better served by public transport than St James’s

An aerial view of the proposed national children’s hospital site at St James Hospital, Dublin

Varadkar says ‘short of an asteroid hitting planet’ €700m hospital will be built by 2020

Minister For Health Leo Varadkar:  told the Dáil this week  mental health services had benefited more from spending than other parts of the health service from spending increases under the outgoing Government. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Proposed €12m diversion away from sector will cause ‘irreversible’ damage, says group

Woman getting an ultrasound scan

National Cancer Control Programme says urgent cases are seen promptly

St Vincent’s hospital is wholly owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity, two of whose nuns sit on the board. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Chairman says claims nuns trying to take control of maternity services are groundless

Kirwan’s GP first did a physical examination before referring him for tests

Bowel cancer detected at Stage 1

Waiting times: ‘People have died waiting for investigations,’  says Galway city GP Brian Osborne. ‘Early detection leads to better outcomes and also costs less.’ Illustration: Thinkstock

To GPs, the system is ad hoc, haphazard and plagued by delays. Consultants, in contrast, stress the positive aspects

Patients and GPs should be provided with a standardised treatment summary of the anti-cancer therapy, the study recommends. Photograph: Thinkstock

Lack of information limiting GP in managing cancer patients, suggests Irish Cancer Society study

Public patients wait an average of 119-125 days for an MRI of the spine, musculoskeletal system or brain, while private patients are tested in under six days, the report shows. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Patient’s ability to pay affects access to referral, Irish Cancer Society report finds

Conor MacLiam, whose wife Susie Long died from bowel cancer, at a protest in March 2008. Long died after a seven month wait for a colonoscopy. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Strides made in treating cancer but colonoscopy figures show public patients lose out

The report calls for the introduction of symptom-based guidelines for referring patients for tests

One-fifth of family doctors believe other GPs have better access to MRIs and scans

Gerard Ingoldsby from Ballincollig, Co Cork. “I’m a lucky man. If I had been forced to wait for a public test I wouldn’t be here today”

‘If I had had to wait for a colonoscopy on the public list my cancer would have spread’

Scanning equipment is already used from 7am to 7pm in many private hospitals, and the PHA says this could be extended to meet demand from outsource public patients.

Staff could be rostered, equipment used in the evenings and over weekends, says PHA

Casualty: We have too many hospitals, too many emergency departments, too many maternity units. Photograph: Alan Betson

New figures suggest that lack of money is not the reason Ireland’s health service is in crisis. But if that’s true, what’s causing(...)

Thousands of patients with suspected cancer are suffering delays in investigation and referral because their GPs are unable to access services, according to a new report.

Patients are being referred to emergency departments due to access issues

There is a high likelihood of new diseases emerging and being preferentially spread by sexual activity among men who have sex with men (MSM), according to Dr William Murphy, medical director of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.

Conference hears risk posed to blood donations extremely small

Dental patients are being forced to take antibiotics for prolonged periods because of cuts to preventive treatments, according to the Irish Dental Association. Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Fall in take-up for fillings and extractions due to improvement in oral health, says HSE

In December the HSE introduced a requirement for one staff member to leave before a new one could be recruited. This has been further tighened to  “three out, one in”. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Restrictive new hiring rules in the health service ‘could drive qualified nurses to UK’

Citing “unacceptable behaviour”, authorities said there has been “multiple incidents of verbal intimidation, racial abuse and generally antisocial behaviour demonstrated” in front of patients at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Staff repeatedly subjected to verbal intimidation and racial abuse by drivers

Half of  Irish 12-year-olds and 75% of  15-year-olds have some decay in their permanent teeth

Irish Dental Association has yet to decide whether to back sugar tax

Ireland’s health service got proportionately more than the NHS in Britain and about four times the share enjoyed by the health systems of Greece and Slovakia

Health accounted for 19.9% of government spending in 2014, almost 5% above EU average

Further delay announced to a review of 18 problem births in the maternity unit of Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Two new investigators being appointed to Portiuncula Hospital inquiry

Minister for Health Leo  Varadkar’s department plans to raid €12 million of the €35 million reserved for mental health to offset costs in other areas. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Calls for Leo Varadkar to explain why mental health spending is being diverted to other areas

Kathleen Lynch is resisting any raid on the funds available to her for mental health while she serves in the current caretaker administration. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Cuts ‘must be resisted as scandalous and discriminatory,’ says College of Psychiatrists

The Health Information and Quality Authority said it received 10,572 regulatory notifications about older people in residential care in 2015. File photograph: Getty Images

Health watchdog deals with 15 per cent rise in concerns about healthcare services

 Ciarán Breen, chief executive of the State Claims Agency:  says the agency is concerned that legal payments to third parties are on the rise when its own legal costs are falling.   Photograph:  Colm Mahady/Fennells

State Claims Agency chief executive says lawyers ‘bog down’ system with excessive claims

Greville and Anne-Louise Miley, parents of Jude Miley, parents of Jude Miley, who suffered brain damage as a baby following routine surgery. They are taking an action on behalf of their son.Photograph:  Collins

Legal teams are said to be reluctant to use mediation and prefer court

Minister of State Kathleen Lynch: Requested that agreed allocation for mental health remains in place “for the duration of the caretaker government and until a new minister is in place”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Minister asks Civil Service mandarin Jim Breslin to ensure resources remain in place

The HSE said incidents recorded in the context of a “very significant number of procedures”. Photograph: PA

Operations and procedures carried out on incorrect part of patients’ bodies

The union says up to 1,000 new nurses are needed to fill 600 current vacancies and to replace retiring staff across the mental health services.

Up to 1,000 extra staff needed in mental health services, PNA conference hears

The Heart Failure Patient Alliance has been formed to provide a voice for the more than 90,000 people with the condition in Ireland. Photograph: Thinkstock

92% of patients will soon be within required 90 minutes of livesaving angioplasty treatment

Private patients can get a colonoscopy done within 12 days, the society points out, thereby highlighting the gap in health services between those who can pay and those who cannot. File photograph: Thinkstock

Irish Cancer Society calls for political action on lengthening colonoscopy lists

Kevin and Una Kelly leaving the Coroners Court in Dublin. Their son Kevin James died six days after his birth in the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Kevin Kelly’s parents accuse HSE of ‘prolonging agony’ by failing to publish report

Kevin and Una Kelly leaving the Coroner’s Court. Their son Kevin James  died six days after his birth in the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Open disclosure still missing in maternity units struggling to retain qualified staff

Kevin and Una Kelly leaving the Coroner’s Court in Dublin. Their son Kevin James died six days after his birth in the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Baby Kevin Kelly died almost a week after he was born at Mullingar General Hospital

The old emergency admissions which will be replaced by the new Acute Medical Assessment Unit on the Acute Floor at St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. Photograph:  Dylan Vaughan

No expense has been spared at the new emergency block which has just opened

Under the cross-border directive, Irish residents who are entitled to health services here can access them in other EU states. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Demand for the EU cross-border directive (CBD) is doubling every six months

A number of blood donors have indicated their intention to sue the Irish Blood Transfusion Service after faulty testing equipment failed to detect their low haemoglobin levels, the service has confirmed. Photograph: Thinkstock/Getty Images

Problems with Irish Blood Transfusion Service equipment put blood supples under strain

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) provision at the acute psychiatric unit of Tallaght hospital was not in compliance with the code of practice, according to the Mental Health Commission. Photograph: The Irish Times

Patients physically restrained and secluded, commission finds

The Irish Heart Foundation said there should be some campaigns targeting middle-aged men specifically. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

Middle-aged men may be ignoring health advice, Irish Heart Foundation warns

Women account for 30,000 of the 47,000 people with Alzheimer’s in Ireland. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Dr Sabrina Brennan says women with less ‘cognitive reserve’ more succeptible

Lancet study reports quadrupling of cases, especially in low and middle income countries

Doctors are overdiagnosing asthma, according to two leading respiratory doctors. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Inhalers are frequently dispensed for no good reason, leading medics claim

People who suffer the death of a partner have a heightened risk of developing an irregular heartbeat for up to a year after the event, according to new research.

Growing body of research suggests stressful life events boost risk of heart attack or stroke

A significant rise in syphilis, and smaller increases in genital herpes and chlamydia, are reported in the HSE’s annual report on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for last year

Burden of sexually transmitted infections born by young people and gay men

Technology in the surgery: The vast majority of doctors are using computers to prescribe drugs, record clinical notes and access lab results, but only 26 per cent are ordering lab tests in this way. Photograph: Getty Images

Some 46 per cent of GPs say they want to continue working after age 65

Four out of five nurses reported not having the time to update case notes. Photograph: The Irish Times

INMO issues call for commission to investigate role of nurses in primary care system

Former IMO president Dr Mick Molloy said there was no clarity on when the clock started ticking for a patient’s wait in hospital. Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

Executive misleading public on waiting times for admissions, IMO conference hears

Prof Allyson Pollock: ‘Parents don’t know that the laws of the game are decided by World Rugby, and it is only interested in the professional game.’ Photograph:  Iain White/Fennell Photography

Allyson Pollock says control should pass from World Rugby to government

The current budget process for health was “simply not credible”, the IMO annual conference in Sligo has been told. File photograph: Getty Images

Government urged to settle outstanding €250m-€300m claim on consultant pay

Outgoing IMO president Dr Ray Walley. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Outgoing IMO president warns Irish health service could roll ‘from crisis to crisis’

Dr Peadar Gilligan, chairman of the IMO consultant committee, asked was it any wonder the HSE was struggling to recruit doctors given its record as an employer. File photograph: Getty Images

Union claims HSE has unlawfully withheld pay rises due to consultants since 2009

Public health doctor Ann Hogan said ‘a significant number of parents’ were withdrawing consent for a follow-up dose of the HPV vaccine.

Public health doctors express concern over “scaremongering” on HPV vaccine

The study was based on questionnaires sent to parents of almost 8,000 primary school children in mainstream and special education. File photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Majority of children in special schools have ASDs, according to DCU research

  Ireland is set to become the most obese country in Europe, with the UK, within a decade, according to a study. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Irish men already have the highest body mass index in Europe, study shows

A HSE spokesperson said spending controls were implemented in January and February.  Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Documents show health service asked for €27m bailout after spending overran by €32m

The next government will immediately face a number of unforeseen spending pressures, including HSE overspending. File photograph: Alan Betson

Extra costs in health, education and justice may limit scope to fulfil election promises

he number of re-inspections required increased from one in 10 hospitals inspected in 2014 to one in five last year, according to a Hiqa report.

Hiqa report finds significant rise in hospitals needing to be re-inspected last year

Outgoing Minister for Health Leo Varadkar asked to attend the IMO conference and will address delegates in Sligo. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Motion will be debated at IMO’s annual conference in Sligo

Eilish Hardiman, CEO of the Children’s Hospital Group. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Number of Irish-overseas joint ventures in bidding for project that could begin in June

Four nurses have been struck off, one censured and one admonished in the latest batch of decisions published by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland. File photograph: Getty Images

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland also censures former director of nursing home

Prof Des O’Neill of Tallaght hospital described the cuts as “bonkers and self-defeating . . . It will cause significant personal distress for frail older people who are prevented from being able to go home in a timely . . . manner.”

Homecare budget reductions are stranding older patients in expensive hospital beds

Homecare: Even the dearest homecare package costs less than a hospital’s €1,000-a-night stay. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Patients are better off at home. Homecare helps them prosper and frees hospital beds

A computer generated image showing how the new children’s hospital will look from the air.

Team planning the new hospital at St James’s can only watch as future costs of construction escalate

The Console  Celebration of Light for those bereaved through suicide: Console operates a 24-hour helpline for people with suicidal thoughts or people aware of others at risk on 1800-247247. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Four men died in the town and one nearby in the past month, aged in their 30s and 40s

File photograph of Mr Ray Burke arriving at the Flood Tribunal in Dublin Castle in 2001. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Adverse findings against 11 witness dropped as inquiry publishes revised reports

This year’s flu vaccination provided good coverage for the H1N1 strain of the virus but was less effective against the B strains, the HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre has said

Hospitals reported more than 1,500 cases of the virus, resulting in 125 admissions to critical care

Judge Maureen Harding Clark: women were given the choice of having records returned or shredded. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Head of scheme, Judge Maureen Harding Clark, criticises ‘misinformation’

The sugar content of fruit drinks, including natural fruit juices and smoothies, is ‘unacceptably high’, according to new research by British experts. File photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Survey shows nearly 50% of products contain a child’s entire daily recommended intake

Many international students have no guarantee of an intern place despite paying fees of up to €40,000 a year to study medicine in Ireland

Shortage prompts authorities to prioritise CAO graduates over international students

 The obesity rate among mothers from the 13 EU accession countries (mostly in Eastern Europe) was half that of mothers born in existing EU countries. Photograph: Getty Images

Obesity rates highest among jobless and low-skilled women and smokers, notes study

Protesters maintain a vigil outside the Dáil after the death of Savita Halappanavar in October 2012. Her story went around the world and focused international attention, most of it unfavourable, on Ireland. File photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Analysis: Most of 34 recommendations after Savita’s death fully or largely implemented

Praveen Halappanavar with a photograph of his wife Savita in the background. She died  at Galway University Hospital on October 28th, 2012.  Photo: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Case initiated following death of 31-year-old after miscarriage in Galway hospital

The ESRI report found that 63 per cent of those over 80 lived alone.  Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Report says benefits need to be balanced against dangers of greater social isolation

Dr Darach Ó Ciardha, Jobstown family practice, Tallaght, Dublin with (on screen) Mary O’Brien, co-founder and chief executive, of VideoDoc at the official launch of online video consultations for patients in Tallaght, Dublin.

Connecting with your doctor is now easier than ever . . . or is it?

A garda stands outside Park Place, Killarney, Co Kerry. Photograph:  Domnick Walsh

Man in his 30s taken to hospital following death of 11-month-old in Killarney apartment

Ibrahim Halawa: arrested by the Egyptian army as he took refuge in a Cairo mosque while Muslim Brotherhood protesters staged a “day of rage” in August 2013

Government called on to reconsider its strategy to address ‘endless delay’

Eleanor Joel and Jonathan Costen, who had their conviction for the unlawful killing of Evelyn Joel by neglect overturned. Photograph: Collins Courts

Analysis: Health executive once again finds itself in firing line following tragic death

The European Commission has strongly criticised the Government’s failure to control health costs and reduce the price of medicines.

European Commission highlights failure to reduce the price of medicines in review

Beaumont Hospital in Dublin has more than 2,500 outpatients waiting more than 15 months to be seen. File photograph: Dara MacDónaill

About 17,600 waiting more than 15 months for treatment, inpatient delays rise three-fold

Dr James Cassidy pleaded with the council not to suspend him, saying this would be tantamount to being struck off and would result in the closure of his practice. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Former GAA team doctor had received suspended prison sentence for forging will

HSE reports 13 baby deaths and eight ‘major obstetric events’ across 19 units

 File photograph of Liam Doran INMO with nurses from St Vincent’s Hospital holding a  protest.  Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Nurses at St Vincent’s Hospital stage lunchtime protest at understaffing

Lack of communication between HSE staff and families has also been raised. Photograph: The Irish Times

Confidential recipient Leigh Gath highlights concerns about people in residential care

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