High vitamin D status is associated with lower risk of complications such as pre-eclampsia and small-for-gestational age (SGA) birth

Study by University College Cork calls for guidelines on nutrition for pregnant women

Former Console chief Paul Kelly: denies allegations of mismanagement and poor governance. Photograph: The Irish Times  Former Console chief Paul Kelly: denies allegations of mismanagement and poor governance. Photograph: The Irish Times

Following resignation, chief executive tells staff he remains at helm of charity

The Medical Council has begun hearing a disciplinary inquiry into a junior doctor at St James’s Hospital who is alleged to have left her post without telling colleagues. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Junior medic ‘abandoned’ patient at St James’s after feeling unwell, Medical Council hearing told

Minister for Health Simon Harris: where a medicine is expensive and has been judged not to be cost effective, the final decision on approval will rest with the Minister. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

State drops threat to introduce unilateral price cuts as part of new agreement

People gather to  protest in  Parliament Square , London, on Saturday at the Brexit vote. Photograph:   Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

UK visitor numbers to be hit as fall in sterling makes Irish holidays more expensive

Sarcoma is a rare cancer that affects 200 to 250 people in Ireland annually. A patients group has called for the retention of a sarcoma specialist.

Group urges hospital to renew the contract of sarcoma specialist Dr Alexia Bertuzzi

Console is also the subject of an audit by the Department of Foreign Affairs, which has funded its UK operation, and may also face an investigation by the UK Charity Commission. Photograph: Getty Images

Committee should investigate charity as it receives public funds, says Fine Gael deputy

Some orthodontic treatments funded by the HSE under the scheme allegedly took place in this jurisdiction and not Northern Ireland, the Medical Independent has reported. Photograph: iStock

HSE checking authenticity of documents for orthodontic treatments after concern by patients

 Paul Kelly, Console founder and  chief executive: in 1983, he pretended to be a doctor and got a job  for three weeks at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital on Baggot Street. Photograph: Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

€215,000 payment to Paul Kelly not included in altered accounts given to funders

Social Democrat TD Roisin Shortall has been elected to chair the new all-party Dáil committee planning the future of the health service. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

TD to head group tasked with planning future of health service over next 10 years

Sources have told The Irish Times that concerns about Console have been referred to the Garda following a dispute between the charity and auditors working on behalf of the HSE. Photograph: Getty Images

Inspection comes as HSE considers future funding options for charity after audit

Paul Kelly of suicide charity Console is among the highest-profile spokesmen on the issue. Photograph: The Irish Times

Paul Kelly established the organisation Console after his younger sister took her life

A children’s hospital at Blanchardstown could be built for €250 million less than at St James’s and one year quicker, according to Jimmy Sheehan, founder of the Blackrock Clinic. File Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Connolly for Kids campaign seeks public hearing at Oireachtas health committee

In 2014, Irish drinkers consumed an average of 11 litres of pure alcohol - equal to 29 litres of vodka, 116 bottles of wine or 445 pints of beer. File photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Irish drinkers consume 445 pints a year as State ranks fourth in OECD for consumption

Mental health services and staffing have been greatly reduced despite ambitious government promises and rising demand, according to a new report. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Services and staff have been greatly reduced despite government promise, study finds

Saint Augustine’s School in Blackrock, Co Dublin

Cutbacks at St Augustine’s school in Blackrock reversed after pressure from HSE

Artists’ impressions of  the proposed new children’s hospital at the St James’s site.

Group Connolly for Kids say new children’s hospital should be in Blanchardstown

The National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street is one of the two hospitals which have so far stopped the monthly figures. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Hospitals will publish figures quarterly to give ‘more accurate’ reflection of trends

 (From left) Patricia Gilheaney, chief executive, John Saunders chairman and Dr Susan Finnerty, Inspector Mental Health Services at the publication of the  Mental Health Commission annual report. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Mental Health Commission also concerned at rise in number of involuntary admissions

The report notes that rates of post-traumatic stress disorder are up to 10 times higher among refugees than in the local population

Report urges ‘complicated physical and mental healthcare needs . . . must be met’

The Health Service Executive was made aware of parents’ concerns over the planned closure of the life skills and vocational training programmes at St Augustine’s in Blackrock, Dublin. SJOG chief executive John Pepper has promised to meet with parents

HSE calls meeting with St John of God, which runs school for teenagers with special needs

John McCamley of Siptu blamed senior Health Service Executive (HSE) management for the failure of last-minute talks on Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Siptu says dispute over pay and staffing at Tallaght centre will not affect emergency calls

Unless there is a breakthrough in the negotiations, drug companies face the prospect of price cuts being imposed by the Health Service Executive using powers it acquired under recent legislation. Photograph: Getty Images

Talks with Department of Health deadlocked as HSE moves to impose cuts on pharma sector

A report has found the Caesarean section rate varied from 24 per cent in the National Maternity Hospital to a high of 36.9 per cent in South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Fourfold variation in rate of hospitalisation for asthma found between Monaghan and Longford

The report shows the rate at which patients die in hospital from heart attacks (acute myocardial infarction) throughout the Republic has dropped 36% in a decade and the Irish mortality rate is well below the OECD average. Photograph: Getty Images

Report: Mortality stroke rates at St Vincent’s Dublin, Naas, Galway above national average

One limitation of the study is that it is applicable to men only. Photograph: Getty Images

Research follows over 1.6m Swedish men from adolescence between 1968 and 2005

Overcrowding and poor standards of cleanliness may be to blame, says health watchdog

According to new research, use of antibiotics in Ireland is significantly higher than in the rest of the EU. Photograph: Getty Images

Antibiotic use rising in Ireland but falling in EU, according to European Commission

Food companies are increasingly using hidden tactics and emotional persuasion to market unhealthy food to young people online, according to a report. File photograph: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing

New report calls for stricter regulations on advertising to protect children’s health

The late Malak Kuzbary Thawley with her husband Alan. File photograph: Facebook

Composition of review team investigating Malak Kuzbary Thawley’s death criticised

A 3D rendered illustration of a hepatitis virus. There are an estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in Ireland chronically infected with hepatitis C. Photograph: iStock

An estimated 20,000 to 50,000 people in Ireland chronically infected with the disease

The Department of Health needs to make significant cost savings on the State’s drugs bill to meet rising demand and to fund expensive new treatments

Proposal is last-ditch effort to avoid price cuts being imposed by the HSE

New law prohibiting smoking in cars came into effect this January. Photograph: Getty Images

Public support fuels potential to increase spaces clear of smoke, says health monitor

Demonstrators outside Government Buildings urging the repeal of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Enda Kenny and Micheál Martin committed to consultative process before any decision

Nine sites in Wicklow and two in Dublin have been sealed off and will be subject to remediation. Library photograph: iStock

Co Wicklow quarry sent contaminated stone to sites in Wicklow and Dublin

The MMR vaccine prevents people contracting measles in 99 per cent of cases, after two doses

Parents advised to check children’s MMR vaccinations as third of cases hospitalised

Some 61 per cent of those surveyed had sex with one or more non-steady partner in the last year, and 40 per cent of these had intercourse without a condom. Photograph: Pederk/E+/Getty

‘Nearly 40%’ of men who have sex with men have never tested for HIV or other STIs

Oncologist Dr Derek Power: says higher rates of many cancers in deprived areas are largely lifestyle-related and may have big implications for healthcare services. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Greater emphasis on smoking prevention and cervical cancer vaccination required

Amanda Mellet, who took the case, was in her 21st week of pregnancy in November 2011 when she learned her foetus had congenital heart defects and would die in the uterus or shortly after birth. Photograph: iStock

Pregnant Irish woman Amanda Mellet’s case gives this UN opinion greater legal weight

Public hospital groups and voluntary hospitals spent at least €730,000 on the services of public relation companies in 2016 on top of in-house staff and the HSE PR division. File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Expenditure is additional to in-house PR staff and those employed in HSE press division

The medicines were seized as part of Operation Pangea IX, which is coordinated by Interpol internationally. File photograph: Getty Images

Anabolic steroids, sedatives, abortion drugs among 60,000 medicines held in operation

Previous reports have identified how cancer can be a “postcode lottery” stacked against those in more deprived areas. Photographs: Getty Images

Report shows incidence of some cancers up to 38% higher in urban areas

Almost 20,000 more patients were treated in hospitals, the vast majority as day cases, compared to 2014. One patient in four waited more than eight months for inpatient or day-case treatment. Photograph: PA

Over 80 complaints a day from patients

 Minister for Health Simon Harris has reversed the much-criticised diversion of monies supposedly ringfenced for mental health in the last budget. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Cabinet approved an additional €500m in spending for the health service on Tuesday

Two-thirds of people who are terminally ill say planning for the future is their biggest worry, according to a survey of people receiving palliative care.

Greater supports and more information needed for people receiving palliative care

Introduction of Suboxone delayed because of need for specific legislation

Nivolumab  has been rejected on cost-effectiveness grounds for melanoma. Further assessment is ongoing for its use in kidney cancer

A third of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma were alive five years after treatment

Ballinclare Quarry in south Co Wicklow has been closed after testing last month uncovered the presence of naturally occurring asbestos in the stone it produces. File photograph: Google Street View

Ballinclare Quarry in Wicklow shut after testing finds naturally occurring asbestos

The #YesOrkambi campaign includes a video open letter to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Health Simon Harris

#YesOrkambi drive launched in support of approval for €160,000 per patient medicine

One social worker says: “I have never met anyone who was happy to go to long-term care; there’s a lot of grief and loss.” File photograph: Getty Images

Vast majority of care ends up provided by unpaid family carers rather than the State

Social workers say many nursing home residents could live at home if  appropriate supports are available. File photograph: Getty Images

Provision of care disorganised, fragmented and underfunded, say social work groups

Cystic fibrosis  campaigner said the decision to reject Orkambi  on cost effectiveness grounds was  disappointing.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

CF campaigner Orla Tinsley says decision disappointing as trials showed drug works

 Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Analysis: Cross-party group represents an appropriate response to obvious failings

Minister for Health Simon Harris asked for a report this week on the HSE deliberations on new cancer drugs. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Pembrolizumab to be included in drugs scheme three months after economic approval

Cystic Fibrosis Ireland said patients were dismayed by the recommendation against reimbursing the cost of the drug, Orkambi. Photograph: Getty Images

Price talks urged between Government and maker on €160,000 per patient medicine

Pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb is to provide a life-saving new cancer drug on a compassionate basis to Irish patients for another month. File photograph: Getty Images

Bristol-Myers Squibb allows compassionate access to nivolumab after appeal by Harris

The maternity unit at Cavan General Hospital has known its fair share of controversy in recent years, including four investigations into previous baby deaths and a number of high-profile court cases. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

It is vital to establish if deaths were preventable but has this happened in this case?

Minister for Health Simon Harris: “It’s absolutely essential that people can have confidence in their maternity services, and I see a speedy conclusion of these reports, so the facts can be known, as a very important part of that confidence.”    Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Simon Harris says ‘speedy conclusion’ to inquiries important for confidence

Malak Kuzbary Thawley with her husband Alan. Photograph: Facebook

Malak Kuzbary Thawley died at the hospital in Dublin on May 8th

Minister for Health Simon Harris: With so many new, expensive treatments in the pipeline, there was  a need for a “serious look” at public policy on the issue of rising drug costs, he said. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Minister for Health calls for compassion for patients as Government mulls price decision

Three babies have died at Cavan General Hospital in recent days but one of these is believed to have been a late miscarriage, according to local sources

One child died after issues during mother’s labour and emergency Caesarean called for

The Health Service Executive, which is expected to overspend by at least €350 million this year, has severely cut back on staff recruitment this year in order to reduce costs. Three staff must leave before one new member can be recruited.  File photograph: Getty Images

Shutdown of Galway scanner to mean early deaths among older people, warns doctor

Kay Barry, from Limerick: “In my case I think the combination of surgery and pembro kept me alive and is giving me a good quality of life. My oncologist Derek Power in Cork is happy with my progress.”

Numerous controversies over huge costs of drugs have erupted. What price do we put on life?

Dozens with advanced cancer are unable to access the latest blockbuster treatment because the Health Service Executive drugs group has not met to approve it.  File photograph: Getty Images

Lifesaving drugs denied to seriously ill patients by slow HSE decision-making

Man’s best friend can be trained as a highly sophisticated “scientific instrument” and biosensor, says Dr Claire Guest. Photograph: Marvin Recinos/AFP/Getty Images

Dr Claire Guest of Medical Detection Dogs says their sense of smell can find diseases early

A dispute over governance structures after the NMH ’s move from Holles Street to the St Vincent’s campus has delayed  a planning application for the €150 million project.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

St Vincent’s and National Maternity Hospital in final effort to resolve governance row

The research questions the appropriateness of current guidelines that recommend low salt intake in the entire population, according to co-author Prof Martin O’Donnell of NUI Galway. Photograph: Getty Images

Idea everyone should eat less salt could be misplaced, claims NUIG researcher

Minister for Health Simon Harris: document says private health insurance is  important “driver of activity” in health system. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Briefing prepared for Minister for Health is highly critical of governance in the HSE

One in four adults admit they have never read product information for over-the-counter medicines, and one in five have not done so for prescription only medicine. Photograph: iStock

Health authority concerned over growing use of internet to diagnose medical conditions

In a tiny number of cases where permitted by Irish legislation on abortion, terminations are being carried out in the Republic that in the past would have required the women involved to travel to Britain for the procedure. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Pro-choice groups say pills procured online contributing to decline in English abortions

The report showed there has been a 48 per cent decline in the numbers travelling to terminate a pregnancy since 2001. Photograph: Thinkstock

More than nine women a day gave Irish addresses at clinics in Britain last year

Patients selected ‘behaving honestly and with integrity’ as the most important aspect of professionalism for doctors from a list of 50 attributes. Photograph: Hugh Macknight/PA Wire

Survey finds high public trust in doctors but not business leaders, journalists, politicians

In 2013, Finian McGrath told TDs: “We all accept that smoking damages health, but so do excessive eating, drinking and lots of other things.” The difference, of course, is that all smoking is bad, not just excessive consumption. File photograph: Dean Lewins /EPA

Minister of State’s arguments are the same ones employed by the tobacco industry

Staff at Beaumont Hospital have expressed frustration at the pattern of rolling theatre closures, which were introduced six years ago to ration the beds and staff available.  File photograph: Reuters

One of facility’s 11 theatres shut each day on average since new year, says spokeswoman

Minister for Health Simon Harris is Fine Gael “through and through”, unlike Leo Varadkar, who is regarded with suspicion by the blue-blooded wing of the party. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

A lack of track record made Harris a puzzling choice as Minister for Health, but he hasn’t been easily daunted in the past

Finian McGrath has been the focus of controversy over the past week for his views on smoking and Irish Water. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Independent stands over pro-smoking views, says smokers ‘getting fed up’ with treatment

The Government plans to target a 5 per cent reduction in the average weight of Irish people over the next decade. File photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Government wants to ensure Republic does not become the fattest country in Europe

Environment groups criticise report on cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the county

The Irish Pharmacy Union says GP prescribing could lead to an increase in prescribing errors and leave patients open to being ripped-off by doctors seeking to maximise their profit.

GP prescribing could leave patients open to being ripped-off by doctors - pharmacists

The results of 97 patients who underwent urea breath testing “can no longer be located on the computer system,” Tallaght  hospital said in response to inquiries from The Irish Times. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Up to 5,000 patients may be waiting for urea breath test, some up to 3 years, says source

The Health Service Executive was almost €60 million over budget in the first two months of this year, new figures show. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times.

Overspend could hit €350m in 2016 with hospitals and social care areas with main overruns

More than 8,600 patients waited more than a day for treatment in a hospital emergency department in the first two months of this year, new figures show. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Overcrowding, flu behind ED delays in January and February, HSE says

Lorraine Nolan: has appealed for funding for her daughter’s treatment

Up to a dozen people with schizophrenia in Co Meath unable to access Clozaril

A measles vaccination kit. A confirmed case of measles in a person who has recently been in Dublin and Co Kerry is being investigated, the HSE has confirmed.  File photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Infected person was in a number of public places in the run-up to the May Bank Holiday

 Ambulance service needs up to 750 additional staff and 250 ambulances to improve  response times. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Minister for Health Simon Harris urged to publish report on performance of service

Under a deal agreed with the Irish Medical Organisation in February, the rural-practice allowance for GPs rises to €20,000 from €16,216. Photograph: Bloomberg

Fund of €10m geared towards continuing access for patients and supports for doctors

Dr Peter Boylan: In relation to vasectomies, he said doctors at St Vincent’s “haven’t been told they can’t do them”. Photograph: PA

Clinical chief Prof Michael Keane says hospital will be free to carry out sterilisations

Child and family agency Tusla says it told the HSE about the risk faced by a young disabled adult in foster care 19 months before the person was removed from the setting.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Disabled person was left in foster home after sex abuse claims raised about foster carer

Under targets set by Hiqa, 80 per cent of life-threatening calls for emergency assistance are supposed to be dealt with by a first responder within eight minutes.  File photograph: Getty Images

Hiqa’s eight-minute goal for serious calls deemed challenging due to rural settings

New Minister for Health: Simon Harris TD with President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Photograph:  Colin Keegan, Collins

Simon Harris likely to meet St Vincent’s and National Maternity Hospital separately

The cost of running the ambulance service in Ireland is significantly higher than in England, a report by UK consultancy Lightfoot Solutions has found.  File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Rural nature of Ireland means cost of service significantly higher than in UK

The HSE has told principals the service is being discontinued because of a lack of evidence to support its effectiveness. Photograph: iStock

Association of Optometrists, which drew attention to the change, is disappointed

There were more than 407,000 people waiting for outpatient appointments and 74,000  for inpatient, according to the latest  figures from the National Purchase Treatment Fund

Almost 24,000 people have been on outpatient waiting list for more than 15 months

St Vincent’s says the board of the NMH at Holles Street should be subsumed into its own board. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Minister issues warning on dispute over €150m relocation of maternity hospital

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

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