After last week’s budget, Minister for Health Simon Harris told a briefing that €35 million in new services would be ‘initiated’ in 2017, in accordance with a commitment by the Government. ‘As in previous years, projects initiated in 2017 will not be completed in that calendar year.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times

Mental health charity criticises decision to spend only €15m out of €35m promised next year

Minister of State for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran Kennedy (right) with  Minister for Children Katherine Zappone and Minister for Health Simon Harris. Ms Corcoran Kennedy will launch the second wave of the Healthy Ireland Survey today. Photograph: Dave Meehan.

Study shows gap between people’s perception of their physical activity and what they actually do

 Tony O’Brien: The HSE director described an increase of 160 in staff numbers at Beaumont hospital last year as “not affordable”. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Head of RCSI in charge as €120,000 cited as not enough to attract suitable candidate

The site of the  National Children’s Hospital at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Dublin City Council and HSE should use land to provide ‘key worker accommodation’

Non-smokers who suffered passive smoking in youth was associated with an earlier onset of cancer, in a person’s 50s rather than 60s, a Dublin conference on the disease was told. Photograph: Getty Images

Issue for non-smokers arises if genetic factors exist while obesity a contributor, meeting hears

Protesters for and against abortion rally in Dublin earlier this year. File photograph: Getty Images

Study finds many used service as they could not afford to travel abroad for a termination

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD joins James Stack (9), Grace Cawley ( 8), Adam Kelly (5) and Matilda Kiernan (7), and Eilish Hardiman, chief executive of the children’s Hospital Group  and John Pollock, project director of the NPHDB. Photographh: Maxwell Photography

‘We’re at the stage where detailed decisions are being made’ says Eilish Hardiman

A significant minority of councillors reported loss of energy, poor concentration and motivation, while 9% said they had experienced loss of libido and 5% had thoughts of self-harm. Photograph: Getty Images

Almost half of representatives surveyed suffered depression or anxiety

The report on the psychiatric unit of University Hospital Waterford found two woman residents were accommodated in an open area outside the nursing counter. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Inspectors find residents accommodated in corridor despite room being available

The move follows the suspension by the Health Service Executive of school-based eye tests for children in fifth and sixth class earlier this year. File photograph: iStock

National Optometry Centre in Dublin cannot take more applicants due to ‘lack of resources’

Cystic fibrosis unit at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin. A ‘wonder drug’ used to treat adult cystic fibrosis patients has been rejected for use in a group of child patients.

Study finds the use of the ‘wonder drug’ would cost €21m over a five-year period

CRE bacteria does not  usually pose a risk for healthy people but can be problematic for people with compromised immune systems. Photograph: Getty Images

Hospital declines to say how many patients, wards affected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The number of homeless people admitted to emergency departments in Irish hospitals grew five-fold over the past decade, according to a new study. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

New study says the increase in admissions is contributing to overcrowding in hospitals

As part of the Rising commemorations, a group of young people from the Kilbarrack coast community programme painted a mural showing their view of 1916.

Intervention in children’s lives in vital early years of primary importance

The ESRI study says social inequalities are apparent in the skills children bring with them on starting primary school. The attitudes, dispositions and language skills of five-year-olds differ according to social class, mother’s education and household income.

Children’s future prospects continue to depend on family circumstances

With almost €1 billion extra going in the kitty compared to last year, the health service has little cause for complaint after the purse-strings were loosened more than had been expected. Photograph: Alan Powdrill/Getty Images.

Claim of biggest budget ever may be a stretch but service given €1bn more than last year

The outbreak of Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) at Tallaght Hospital has forced the closure of at least two wards and has resulted in a number of patients testing positive for the bug. Photograph: The  Irish Times

Wards closed as patients with antibiotic-resistant CRE are tracked

The Department of Health’s budget will increase next year to €14.2bn. Photograph: Peter Cade/Getty Images

Simon Harris says increase means highest ever spending on health in history of State

The file on mental health spending reveals huge tensions between Mr Varadkar and Ms Lynch over the issue, both before and after last year’s budget. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Huge tensions between Varadkar and Kathleen Lynch right up until budget day last year

Any criticism of agriculture is interpreted as an attack on rural Ireland. Photograph: iStock

Is it a coincidence that we are a large producer of infant formula and have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates?

A sugar tax is widely expected to be introduced in the budget. Photograph: Getty Images

More than 411 million litres of sugar sweetened drinks were sold in Ireland in 2014

Brian Higgins, CEO of suicide prevention charity Pieta House, said there has been little impact so far. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Pieta House, which took over counselling and telephone helpline, says no signs of falloff

Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan who has threatened to resign if the Government does not agree to the expansion of cardiac services at UHW,  but has so far not implemented his threat. Photograph: Alan Betson

Note reveals opposition to expansion of heart services in UHW prior to Herity review

Kevin O’Brien with his wife Aoife McGough and their daughter Síomha at home in St Helena. About 4,000km east of Brazil and 2,000km west of Africa, St Helena is about as remote as remote gets. Photograph: Edward Thorpe

As one of St Helena’s two GPs, Kevin O’Brien continues a tradition of Irish doctors there

Many strains of bacteria are already resistant to all known antibiotics. Photograph: CDC/Handout via Reuters

Princeton professor also tells UCD conference drug-resistant bugs kill 700,000 a year

Almost 535,000 people were on public hospital waiting lists at the end of September, up more than 26,000 since last May when Simon Harris was appointed Minister for Health. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Almost 535,000 people were on public hospital waiting lists at the end of September

Minister for Health  Simon Harris: says he will  facilitate existing  graduates of the Institute for Physical Therapy and Applied Sciences “or who hold equivalent qualifications” to use the title of physical therapist. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Representative body says new arrangements putting people’s health at risk

A Health Service Executive report has found that staff at Portlaoise hospital sent the wrong placenta for testing following the stillbirth of a baby in the maternity unit.

HSE report identifies five “care management problems” that arose before and after the delivery

With 157 beds, Brídhaven Nursing Home in  Mallow, Co Cork, is one of the largest privately run homes in Ireland. File photograph: Google Street View

Wage costs at Mallow facility amount to €4.7m a year – almost 70% of turnover

Reducing the threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme from €144 per month to €85 would cost €64 million while abolishing the inpatient charge would cost €17.7 million, the Irish Cancer Society says.

Irish Cancer Society calls for abolition of prescription levy and in-patient charges

Dr Sripathy faced more than 20 allegations of poor professional performance or professional misconduct

Medic guilty of poor professional performance after failing to carry out simple tests

Is this the real story of the Irish health service: Keeping Ireland Alive, RTÉ’s fly-on-the-wall series offers one perspective. Photograph:  Hu O’Reilly

RTÉ’s ‘Keeping Ireland Alive’ is profoundly moving, but is it a fair representation?

A Medical Council disciplinary inquiry into alleged poor professional performance on the part of Dr Muthulingam Kasiraj is expected to conclude on Monday. File photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Medical Council hears allegations of serious failings on part of Dr Muthulingam Kasiraj

Christy Byrne, who was in his 70s, died at Naas hospital following an explosion as he was being unloaded from an ambulance.

Christy Byrne was killed in explosion outside Naas General Hospital on Thursday

Christopher (Christy) Byrne who died in a fatal ambulance explosion on Thursday.

Safety check on all oxygen containers ordered after patient in his 70s died

The Irish Beverage Council said it was pleased with the commitment in the plan that food-related taxes would have to be based on evidence. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

Government levy plan part of strategy to halt rising levels of overweight and obesity

One in four children are overweight or obese. Photograph: Getty Images

Government launches plan based on nutrition to tackle ‘ticking time bomb’ of obesity

Popular fads and ‘myths’ about nutrition and exercise are having a serious impact on the public’s health, speakers at a food industry conference have warned. Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Rise in unqualified ‘experts’ blamed for rise in popularity of nutrition ‘crazes’

Waterford  TD and Minister of State John Halligan has threatened to resign unless cardiac care services  at University Hospital Waterford are upgraded. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Patient group accuses Government of failing to honour pledge for 24/7 cardiac care

Andrew and Siobhan Whelan pictured with a photograph of their  son Conor James Whelan at his inquest at Cavan Courthouse. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

Cavan General Hospital has no specialised staff for reading obstetric scans, coroner told

HSE executives downgraded the risk posed to patients by the lack of cardiac facilities at University Hospital Waterford two weeks before an official review found that 24/7 cover was not sustainable. Image: Google Street View

Risk assessment downgraded from 20/25 to 16/25 ahead of review of cardiac services

Andrew and Siobhán Whelan with a photograph of their son Conor James Whelan at his inquest at Cavan Courthouse. Photograph: Lorraine Teevan

Baby Conor Whelan died shortly after being delivered at Cavan General Hospital

Women do take supplements – middle-class women who are actively trying to get pregnant. But up to half of all women have unplanned pregnancies. Also, women from deprived backgrounds are far less likely to be on folic acid before or during their pregnancy. Photograph: iStock

Why has mandatory fortification, first called for in the 1990s, not been introduced?

Conor Whelan was born in Cavan on May 13th, 2013 following an emergency caesarean but died the following day.

Conor Whelan was born on May 13th, 2014 following an emergency caesarean section

Hundreds of families with inherited conditions who have been waiting up to two years for an appointment at the State’s main genetics centre are being deprived of their entitlement to treatment abroad. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Families are waiting up to two years for an appointment at State’s main genetics centre

Social workers, dietitians, occupational therapists, radiographers, speech and language therapists, and optometrists and dispensing opticians are all now subject to statutory regulation in the same way as doctors and nurses.

42 claims against social workers and five other health professionals turned down

HSE executives downgraded the risk posed to patients by the lack of cardiac facilities at University Hospital Waterford two weeks before an official review found that 24/7 cover was not sustainable. Image: Google Streetview

Risk register at hospital has listed danger of suboptimal care for last three years

 Dr Patrick Owens, cardiologist University Hospital Waterford,and Dr Aidan Buckley, cardiologist Wexford General Hospital, at a press conference on the Herity report on Wednesday. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Cardiologists ‘utterly reject’ report which calls for downgrading of services at hospital

In correspondence, the HSE claimed the practice by Lloyds of claiming multiple phased dispensing payments in situations where a prescription is dispensed on a single occasion was “endemic” across all its outlets. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Lloyds Pharmacy makes €12m payment to settle row over incorrectly claimed fees

Vape Business Ireland says it is disappointed that the Minister is not available to meet the group at present, and claims this could adversely affect Ireland’s contribution to the debate on e-cigarettes. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

British study shows more smokers are kicking the habit as use of e-cigarettes grows

A consultant obstetrician at South Tipperary General Hospital wrongly diagnosed an ectopic pregnancy in a patient when it may have been viable, a Medical Council disciplinary hearing has heard. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Tipperary woman reacted to news by ‘wanting to kill’ anyone who harmed baby

Quarter of a million Irish people use statins to lower their cholesterol.

Major review of statins says benefits have been underestimated and harm exaggerated

Waterford Hospital: Waiting lists for inpatient and day-case procedures have grown at four times the rate in the overall south-southwest group

Fianna Fáil figures show more than 1,100 people on inpatient waiting list

The number of patients on trolleys is to be limited to 236 on any single day under the HSE’s winter initiative to alleviate overcrowding in hospital emergency departments over the coming months. File photograph: Frank Miller

Extra acute beds and home care packages to be introduced in €40m HSE initiative

Campaigners for improved cardiac services in Waterford have rejected the findings of a Government report that suggests the University Hospital Waterford unit should be downgraded. Photograph: Google Street View

Local campaigners for improved cardiac services reject Government review

Health Minister Simon Harris, who has promised to extend the opening hours of the existing cath-lab. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Seen from Dublin, deal demanded by local TD smacked of parish-pump politics

Minister for Health Simon Harris has allocated the NTPF €15 million to help address waiting lists, but this money will not be spent until 2017. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Over 74,000 waiting longer than a year for appointments, NTPF figures show

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he accepted the findings of an independent clinical review of cardiac services in University Hospital Waterford. Image: Google Streetview

Simon Harris to provide facility with more resources and orders review of all major cardiac services

The Health Products Regulatory Authority detained 1.14 million dosage units of medicines in 2015, up from 730,000 the year before. File photograph: Getty Images

Sleeping pills account for two-thirds of 1.14 million dosage units seized, says HPRA

The researchers say the findings show physical activity has the potential to promote health and curb some of the associated harmful effects of drinking, even at minimum recommended levels of exercise. Photograph: iStock

UK study finds alcohol intake heightens risk of cancer but physical activity reduces it

Runners have been advised not to swallow surface water or mud and to wash immediately after a “mud run”. Photograph: iStock

Participants may come in contact with animal faeces in events on farmland, says HSE

Treatment of heart attacks will usually involve administration of a clot-busting drug or the insertion of a wire into the artery to open it, using a balloon to allow the blood flow to the heart muscle again

Procedures such as ablation, angiograms, angioplasties and the insertion of pacemakers are done in a cath lab

Gardasil, a vaccine against cervical cancer. Photograph: AFP/ Getty Images

HSE criticises ‘unsubstantiated’ concerns over safety of cervical cancer vaccination

Trolley numbers fell 6 per cent in August compared to the same month a year earlier, but this masked divergent trends across the country

Areas outside captial see 14 % increase in trolley numbers, according to nurses’ union

Last week nine patients with malignant brain tumours could not be transferred for treatment in Beaumont because there were no beds for them. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

It is a wonder that surgeons can work so well, given the obstacles they face

The centre in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin had no beds for nine patients with malignant brain tumours last Friday. File photograph: Reuters

Refusal at neurosurgical centre due to lack of beds and theatre access, says clinical director

A 46-year-old man who is being sought by gardaí in the Republic is to appear in court in Belfast on Tuesday. The arrest is understood to be connected to the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel  in Dublin in February this year. Photograph: Collins

PSNI detained 46-year-old, who is due to appear in court on Tuesday, in Strabane

The Women’s Clinic (in building on right) on Berkeley Street  in Dublin is next door to Reproductive Choices, a pregnancy advisory clinic closely aligned to the Marie Stopes organisation in the UK. The clinics are unrelated. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy/The Irish Times

Anti-abortion clinic tells woman termination leads to increased risk of breast cancer

Image: Screenshot from White Moose Cafe Facebook page

Facebook post demanding people show doctor’s note for gluten-free food ‘tongue-in-cheek’

Minister of State for Disability Issues Finian McGrath. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Ministers say revised charging scheme for State-supported housing will be fairer

Patients have given hospital food rave reviews in the first ever reports into the quality of nutrition in the Irish health system. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Hiqa report praises quality of meals at three hospitals in Dublin and Kilkenny

Minister for Health  Simon Harris:  has invited submissions on the approach planned by his department, to be furnished by the end of November. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Rules proposed by Simon Harris aim to address concerns on under-qualified therapists

Five years ago, Brendan Quinn (above) started to gain weight, rapidly and inexplicably. Within a few years, he went from 76kg to 120kg without any outward change in his diet or activity level. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

‘Eat less, move more’ mantra all very well, but it doesn’t work like that, says professor

Eight members of staff at Carew House, a day centre for elderly patients on the St Vincent’s Hospital campus,  were brought to the hospital’s emergency department following an  emission of chlorine gas. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Eight sent to emergency department after accidental emission at Carew House day centre

Britain’s National Health Service  is urging young people starting third level this autumn to get a vaccination against meningitis W.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Meningitis cases in Ireland falling since 2012, following use of meningitis C vaccine

 Dr Saleem Sharif outisde  the Medical Council Inquiry. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Dr Saleem Sharif found guilty at Medical Council for second time in five years

Dr Ogechi Chuku left St James’s Hospital after complaining of feeling sick

Dr Saleem Sharif, a locum GP from Ballyphehane, is accused of poor professional performance. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Dr Saleem Sharif failed to properly investigate patient who had recently given birth to twins

 Spending on legal fees for fitness to practise hearings peaked at €2.5 million in 2014, a year in which 32 inquiries were held over 75 day. Photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland spend €9.3m in total over five years

 Lauren Smyth, who has type 1 diabetes: There are about 16,000 people with type 1 diabetes in Ireland, of whom almost 3,000 are under 16 years.

Diabetes Ireland says children should get an immediate test to confirm diagnosis

Fiona Smyth with her daughter Lauren: “I was told to bring her straight to the hospital, even to break the lights getting there – that’s how urgent it was considered. On the way, I had to keep her awake, so that she didn’t fall into a coma.”

An emergency team at Temple Street diagnosed Lauren Smyth with type 1 diabetes

An estimated 40 cases in Ireland of spina bifida, where those affected can be confined to a wheelchair,  could be prevented each year by ensuring women take folic acid before pregnancy. File photograph: Getty Images

Poorer women know least of vitamin’s essential part in preventing neural tube defects

In 2013-2014, St Vincent’s was at the centre of controversy over top-up payments to senior executives. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Three managers receive cash after top-up payments ended, according to HSE report

The 2016 HSE service plan says acute hospitals and the ambulance service will work together to reduce emergency department handover delays. Photograph: The Irish Times

A&E delay time recorded on at least 1,100 occasions every month, data reveals

Dr John Griffin prescribed benzodiazepines for a patient over 20 years but the patient became increasingly concerned that the source of his mental health problems lay in an episode of sexual abuse in childhood, for which therapy rather than prescription drugs was needed. File photograph: Getty Images

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services review team finds payment ‘unconventional’

In 1988, a patient began seeing Dr John Griffin (above), then a consultant psychiatrist at St Patrick’s Hospital in Dublin.   By 2012, the patient had informed the medical director of St Patrick’s, Prof Jim Lucey, of his dissatisfaction with the care he was receiving.  File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

St Patrick’s Hospital patient says life damaged by lengthy benzodiazepines treatment

The payment of a personal cheque by Dr John Griffin (above) to a patient as a full and final settlement of a complaint, without admission of liability, was “unconventional”, an investigation by St Patrick’s Mental Health Services has found.  File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Payment could be construed as effort to thwart complaint to Medical Council - report

Patients failed to show for 139,000 of 923,000 new appointments made, and for 349,000 of 2,375,000 return appointments, figures from the HSE reveal. Photograph: The Irish Times

Almost 500,000 appointments for outpatients classified as ‘did not attend’

Cardiovascular disease causes more than 4m deaths each year across Europe, or 45% of all deaths. Photograph: Getty Images

Burden imposed by heart disease, stroke in Ireland among lowest in Europe, notes study

Paul Cullen after completing the swim. Athletes then mounted their bikes to travel up the coast and through the centre of the city, looping out west of the city and returning to Phoenix Park for the run and finish. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Paul Cullen completes 70.3 miles by land and sea in second Dublin Ironman triathlon

Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher: “The only thing to have increased at a faster rate in our health services is the number of patients awaiting scheduled treatment.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Nurse staff levels fell more than 3,000 since 2007, Health Service Executive figures show

 St Luke’s Hospital in Rathgar, Dublin. Sarcoma patients have criticised new arrangements for treating those with the condition at the hospital. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Group says the care of some sufferers may be compromised by the situation at St Luke’s

Former Fianna Fáil senator says she was hospitalised several times with condition

The hospital with the longest waiting list was University Hospital Galway, at 32,000. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Number waiting long periods continues to soar despite Government promises

Changes planned by the Department of Health intend to significantly strengthen protections for patients who are detained against their will in mental health institutions. Photograph: iStock

Protections to include publishing tribunal findings in cases of involuntary detention

The father of a young man who was committed to psychiatric care against his will last month has appealed for his release.  File photograph: Thinkstock

Father says his son is being held against his will and criticises mental health tribunals

Intensive care patients transferred out of children’s hospital to come back after extra generator sourced

The findings will go forward to the next meeting of the Medical Council, which will decide on sanctions. Photograph: The Irish Times

Sudanese physician failed to disclose fact he was refused registration in United Kingdom

Siptu says an emergency service will be provided during the planned Ambulance Service strike. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Negotiations between Siptu and HSE continue over conditions of employment

Hiqa inspectors found five areas of major non-compliance at the Carena Care centre, which has not yet opened

Five areas of major non-compliance found at new care facility due to open in Co Cork

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