Health Minister Simon Harris has written to counterparts in four other countries  to see if they could collaborate on achieving a cost-effective price for the CF drug. Photograph: Eric Luke/ The Irish Times

Drug company calls on Simon Harris to intervene after HSE rules out use of Orkambi

A member of the Garda Technical Bureau pictured at a scene in Parlickstown, Mulhuddart on Monday night where a shooting took place.Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Victim (38) received up to six gunshot wounds after incident in Mulhuddart

According to the study, 46 per cent of  women in the Republic have initiated breastfeeding, compared to 64 per cent in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Breastfeeding rates are higher in areas where the proportion of Catholics is lower

05/12/2016A member of the Garda Technical Bureau pictured at a scene in Parlickstown, Mulhuddart last night where a shooting took place.Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times A member of the Garda Technical Bureau at the scene of the shooting. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Victim shot up to six times in in Parslickstown Green, Mulhuddart, shortly after 8pm

Baby Emily with her mother Ellen Shine and consultant obstetrician Prof John Higgins at Cork University Maternity Hospital. Photograph: John Sheehan

New records system to be rolled out across country over next three years

Nora Dodd, patient at  Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing  at St James’s Hospital, Dublin with clinical nurse managers Joan Garcia and Ray Donnelly. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A new centre for successful ageing aims to address the challenges we all face

Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise: Hiqa says it is at a “critical juncture” because of continuing safety concerns.

Watchdog warns emergency department and critical care service pose safety risks

Card-carrying medical marijuana patients  at the first-ever cannabis farmers’ market in Los Angeles. Photograph:  Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Bill as it stands will make drug legal for recreational use for everyone over age of 16

The two new vaccinations for Meningococcal B/MenB and Rotavirus will be given to babies born since October 1st, under an extension of the childhood vaccination scheme agreed between the Irish Medical Organisation and the Department of Health. Photograph: iStock/Getty Images

Parents can apply for MenB and Rotavirus vaccines under immunisation changes

Ireland has the sixth highest incidence of breast cancer in Europe, according to the OECD.

Government’s pledge of extended BreastCheck for all 65 to 69-year-olds to take five years

Research finds just 3.5% of over 60s eat recommended three dairy portions daily

The safety and quality of the current ambulance fleet is  an “immediate problem”, says HSE chief Tony O’Brien. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tony O’Brien warns of safety issues around old ambulances, MRIs and X-ray machines

Take-up for the cervical cancer vaccine is “significantly behind target”, according to the HSE performance report. Photograph: Getty Images

Take-up of cervical cancer, flu serums significantly down, according to HSE report

Half of patients with heart failure have no access to a support group in their area.  Photographer: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg

Community care can reduce national burden and improve quality of life, says IHF report

Nurse Mary Canny assists patient Martina McMahon at Shannon Doc to use a video link to a GP in Dublin. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Patients in ShannonDoc treatment centre in Kilrush are seen remotely by Dublin doctor

My aim this winter is to try to increase my speed by 10-20 per cent. Photograph: iStock

Despite training sessions and three triathlons, I was still a slow swimmer so I signed up for a Total Immersion workshop

A premature bay being cared for at Cork University Maternity Hospital. File photograph: Niall Duffy/GMC Photography

Obstetricians want greater independence from Cork University Hospital

Survivors of Symphysiotomy claim the report by Judge Maureen Harding Clark (right)  falsely alleges that leading campaigners on the issue who said they had the procedure did not in fact have one.

Survivors of Symphysiotomy say none of its campaigners refused by redress scheme

Demonstrators take part in a protest held by the group Survivors of Symphysiotomy outside Leinster House in 2013. Photograph: Eric Luke

Judge Maureen Harding Clark raised doubts about some women who applied for redress

A new company, the National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park, is to be set up to operate the new Holles Street maternity hospital.  Photograph: Eric Luke

‘Unedifying spat’ delayed urgently needed move from outdated city premises

Dementia deaths rose from 739 in 2008 to 2,159 last year. Women were twice as likely as men to die from dementia. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Ageing population will bring higher incidence of condition, says Helen McEntee

Judge Maureen Harding Clark: A report by the assessor of the State’s  symphysiotomy scheme was rejected as “whitewash” by a survivors group. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Up to 30 women pursuing litigation rather than applying for now closed redress scheme

The death rate from heart attacks, cancer and pneumonia is above average, but the death rate from strokes has fallen significantly below the EU average. Photograph: iStock

OECD report shows health outcomes continue to lag behind other western countries

Judge Maureen Harding Clark: after  analysis of the evidence, she found no general pattern of injury. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Complexities of the arguments for and against the practice have been largely ignored

An official report says over 30 per cent of applications to the Government’s symphysiotomy redress scheme were unfounded. File photograph: Getty Images

Many applicants for pubic joint procedure redress scheme lacked evidence, says judge

Judge Maureen Harding Clark said one woman wrote to say she would buy a “special hat”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Assessor of redress scheme makes 216 awards of €50,000 and 168 of €100,000

Irish Patients’ Association says  patients are worried over  threat posed by superbugs and overcrowding. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

HSE staff member alleges she has been victimised over whistleblowing activities

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the number of applications to the Government’s symphysiotomy payment scheme had exceeded expectations.

Redress scheme makes payments to 399 women over controversial childbirth procedure

Two new vaccinations, for Meningococcal B/MenB and Rotavirus, will be given to babies from December 1st

Department of Health agrees to provide GPs with extra €80 a year to administer vaccines

Studies suggest CPE kills about 40 per cent of those who become infected, especially older, frail patients. Photograph: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Costs for health service if superbugs continue to make inroads will be enormous

A HSE whistleblower has called for an investigation of 29 deaths in which, it is claimed, drug-resistant organisms may have been a contributory factor. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Whistleblower says multidrug-resistant superbugs behind deaths at Limerick hospital

About 350 children die before their 18th birthday every year in Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

About 3,840 children have life-limiting conditions that benefit from palliative care

Johnson & Johnson chairman and chief executive Alex Gorsky.

At least 20 women to take action against Johnson & Johnson over ovarian cancers

The public are urged not to use antibiotics for colds and flu, to take antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Photograph: Thinkstock

Consumption of antibiotics is falling in many European countries but rising in Ireland

Concerns emerged following an audit by two independent orthopaedic surgeons of spinal surgery procedures carried out by a surgeon at University Hospital Galway  and Merlin Park Hospital (above) between January 1st, 2013 and November 14th, 2014.

Independent review finds concerns over spinal surgery carried out on four patients

Bed occupancy rates in Ireland are the highest in the EU, Eurostat figures show. The bed occupancy rate in Ireland was over 93 per cent, compared to 75-80 per cent in France and Germany. Photograph: Vincent Hazat/PhotoAlto/Getty

Eurostat report shows health spending of 9.91% of GDP higher than Germany and UK

Hiqa says the Government needs to introduce new legislation to safeguard vulnerable adults from abuse

People receiving care in their own homes require protection of legislation, says Hiqa

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Mr Peter Van Geene has 21 days to appeal any sanction imposed by Medical Council to High Court. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Peter Van Geene failed to adequately explain hysterectomy to patient, committee found

Overcrowding in hospital emergency departments is at its highest level this winter. File photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Hospital system ‘one week away from national emergency,’ claims Fianna Fail

Hiqa has identified a number of safety risks at the Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital in Dublin. File photograph: Alan Betson

‘Significant investment’ needed to fix safety risks despite plan to move to new locations

  Bríd Stack with her six-month-old son Pearse Beasley: “If I’m having a second baby, I’ll definitely get vaccinated.” Photograph: Eric Luke

As doctors struggled to ward off sepsis concern grew about having to deliver baby early

Unfounded concerns about vaccine safety are   widespread  among pregnant women, according to a  survey of patients at the Rotunda Hospital. Photograph: Getty Images

Irish health professionals have ‘unfounded’ worries about the jabs, survey says

Ireland has the highest rates of hospitalisation of the disease in the OECD. Photograph: Getty Images

Call for nationwide testing to help identify thousands with undiagnosed COPD

The Department of Health and the HSE plan to add two new vaccines to be given by GPs to all children born after October 1st, 2016.

Irish Medical Organisation says Department of Health will miss December 1st deadline

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

Fine Gael TD directly blames anti-vaccine movement for decline in uptake among girls

A HSE memo told nurses they had the authority to move a patient within a hospital using ‘minimum force’. Photograph: Getty Images

Tony O’Brien says there is no health service policy to force patients to leave hospital beds

Simon Harris says he is pleased that the INMO has again confirmed its commitment to the Lansdowne Road Agreement. File photograph: Eric Luke

Health Minister criticises ‘offensive’ language used by campaigners against St James’s site

A HSE memo told nurses they  had the authority to move a patient within a hospital using “minimum force”. Photograph: Getty Images

Withdrawn document advised hospital staff on ‘trespassers’ who refuse to leave beds

HSE director general Tony O’Brien has called for a national discussion on health spending. Photograph: Alan Betson

Pay restoration can only be achieved at expense of patient care, says Tony O’Brien

Parents’ choices at home influence children’s  ability to self-regulate their eating habits. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Conference hears how genes and family behaviour can influence a child’s weight

Under the proposed changes, the existing two layers of staff present in the surgical department out of hours are being reduced to one. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Save Navan Hospital Campaign claims plans represent attempt to downgrade hospital

A new emergency department in Limerick is due to open next spring

Trolley Count: 66 patients waiting for admission at Limerick emergency department

Research shows one in three mothers in Ireland suffered from pelvic girdle pain three months after giving birth, while one-half had experienced painful sex and one-quarter had not resumed sex. Photograph: Katie Collins/PA

Pain, sexual problems, anxiety and depression uncovered by maternal health research

University Hospital Limerick has equalled the record for overcrowding in a single hospital, with 58 patients waiting for admission from its emergency department on Monday. Photograph: iStock.

Nealy as many patients on trolleys in Limerick as in all seven Dublin emergency departments

There has been a 2,000 jump in the number of outpatients waiting longer than 15 months compared to the previous month.

HSE says delays caused in part by patients failing to show for appointments

With 36 per cent of the population currently aged over 50 years, Ireland remains younger than the EU average (42 per cent).

Living longer means problems of patchy care and supports must be overcome

Older people are heavily involved in caring and, to a less extent, in political activity, research has found

Over-50s have high levels of both ill-health and contentment, study finds

St Vincent’s University Hospital: Bill Maher, a former director of operations and acting chief executive at the hospital, has said he had no role in engaging Northgate, with which he had a long-standing consultancy arrangement, for the work. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Hospital declines to say if €2m contracts given to Northgate to digitise records were advertised

Minister for Health Simon Harris has ordered a review of Ireland’s policy on medicinal cannabis. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Harris says initiative not a discussion about decriminalising drug ‘in any way, shape or form’

The daily salt intake of Irish women is 70% above recommended intake levels, according to the Food Safety Authority. Photograph: Thinkstock

Consumption high despite salt reductions in processed food, says Food Safety Authority

Today, in an Ireland where the liberal outlook now prevails, pro-choice voices are in the ascendant

The real debate is not about repealing the Pro-Life Amendment; it’s about what comes after

Kathleen Sebelius served as US secretary of health. Photograph: Leigh Vogel

Kathleen Sebelius is a committed Catholic who believes abortion is a sin, but she’s also staunchly pro-choice

Environmental hygiene was poor overall in two wards and cot frames and bedside units were stained, the Hiqa report found.

Health watchdog says significant improvements were made after July inspection

Tallaght Hospital. Photograph: David Sleator

Patients requiring isolation poorly isolated in cubicles with curtains

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

Campaigners call on Minister for Health to move planned children’s hospital site

Jillian Boyle who had her first stroke at 32, in her hometown of Athboy, Co Meath. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Case study: Jillian O’Boyle says there is a lack of support services for stroke survivors

The current programme for government includes a commitment to extend free GP care to all those aged under 18

Gaining full medical or GP-visit card is associated with an extra 1.3 GP visits a year among over-50s

Over 65 per cent of Irish fruit and vegetable samples were found to have pesticide residues and 2.6 per cent had excessive levels. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Tests by Department of Agriculture found one in 40 samples exceeded permissible limits

Stroke site: a new report recommends that  stroke survivors  receive at least 45 minutes a day of each  therapy they need, five days a week, but says that only 15 per cent of units are reaching this target

Improvements in emergency treatment ‘squandered’ through lack of post-stroke care

 Jillian Boyle who suffered her first stroke at 32: “After that initial burst, the help you get is watered down. They want to discharge you as soon as possible. The minute you go out of the system, you’re down at the back of the queue.” Photograph: Barry Cronin

Stroke outcomes deteriorate as review into post-care points to staffing deficit

Caesarian sections: one Irish study found private patients were twice as likely to have pre-planned sections as women whose treatment was publicly funded. Other research has pointed to the day of the week as a somewhat unlikely factor influencing rates of inducing labour. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

More and more women are choosing to have C-sections, despite risks to mother and child

The rise in the number of Caesarean sections is mostly due to the increased safety of the operation but a 65 per cent jump in births to over-35s has also contributed. Photograph: Martin Carlsson/iStockphoto via Getty

Operation now used in 30% of births in Ireland – a four-fold increase since 1984

Malak Thawley (35)died last May after a blood vessel was accidentally damaged during surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. Photograph: CM Haughey Solicitors

Full inquest into death of Malak Thawley in Holles Street Hospital to begin in new year

Savita Halappanavar’s  death on October 28th, 2012, was followed by a slew of reports that made recommendations for change at hospital level and nationally.  File photograph: The Irish Times

Despite promises after Savita Halappanavar died, stumbling blocks remain

Thousands gather to demand that  the circumstances that led  to the  death of Savita Halappanavar are not repeated, at a rally in Dublin in late 2012. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Departures linked in part to concerns over pace of reform in maternity services

The prices of almost 1,000 commonly-used medicines have dropped since last August

Annual savings of €78.4m predicted as result of agreement with drugs manufacturers

The introduction of a minimum price for alcohol in Ireland has moved a step closer following a decision by a Scottish court backing the measure. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Judge rules measure, which would set a lowest price for drink, not a breach of EU law

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

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