Obesity rates have fallen slightly, though 60 per cent of the population are still overweight or obese. Photograph: Getty Images

Most commonly reported health conditions are high blood pressure and back problems

 Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Health executive proposes additional resources to help ease overcrowding pressures

 A patient on a trolley in a hospital corridor. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation says hospital staff are ‘beyond breaking point’

Less than half of trainee GPs surveyed saw themselves working full-time five years after training. File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Proportion intending to stay rises but less than half expect to work full-time in future

Report finds that Asthma on average results in  12 missed days of work per adult in an average year, and 10 missed days at school for a child.

Report finds majority feel despair or depressive symptoms at some stage due to condition

Michelle Corrigan, at home in Swords, Co Dublin, with her three-year-old twins, Eric and Sean, whose lives were saved by the use of ground- breaking surgery at the Rotunda hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Keyhole surgery, microscopic cameras and laser therapy have improved the survival rate of identical twins who have an imbalance in(...)

Before the new technique was pioneered in Ireland the mortality rate was 90%. Photograph: Getty Images

Statistics show twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome affects up to 20% of identical twins

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation protesting last month outside Leinster House. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

INMO calls for 300 extra staff to ease overcrowding in emergency departments

The Real Cost of Cancer report says that the financial burden caused by parking is “almost unbearable” for some families.   Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Irish Cancer Society report says financial impact of treatment up to €1,400 a month

Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons found that between 1997-2012 there was a substantial increase in the prescribing of regular medicines, particularly among older people. Photograph: Ron Chapple Studios/Getty Images

Almost a third of older people were on at least five medications, researchers find

The course is being offered in the Republic for the first time. Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty images

Course based on Maudsley model currently offered in Northern Ireland

  Asked whether underperforming staff should be moved, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar said such action would send the wrong message. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Health says warning that ‘heads will roll’ just an expression of frustration

Staffing levels, fire safety and the protection of children’s rights have been criticised in a new report on a centre for children with disabilities in Co Sligo. File photograph: Thinkstock

Cregg House in Sligo criticised by Hiqa with little progress since previous inspections

Former master of the Coombe women’s hospital Dr Chris Fitzpatrick said critical strategic decisions made at the highest levels of political authority about funding have had a significant impact on clinical outcomes. PHotograph:  Garrett White / Collins

Former Coombe master Dr Chris Fitzpatrick says hospitals were ‘run into the ground’

Patients at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda are at  risk from poor hand hygiene among staff, a lack of cleanliness and issues relating to disease control, says Hiqa. File photograph: David Sleator

Poor hand hygiene, lack of cleanliness and disease control highlighted in report

The Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise was the focus of scandal over baby deaths.

UK health consultant critical of low pay, understaffing and slow pace of change

The development of networks of maternity units needs to be fast-tracked, a report commissioned by the HSE from a UK health consultant recommends. File photograph: Getty Images

Former NHS executive’s review of Clonmel unit strongly critical of gaps in management

Former NHS executive David Flory reviewed services at two maternity units, Cavan General Hospital (pictured)  and South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel, for the HSE.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Independent review by ex-NHS executive says smaller units cannot operate in ‘isolation’

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar and Minister for Primary Care Kathleen Lynch have announced a new diabetes cycle of care service, under which patients with medical cards or GP visit cards will have their condition reviewed twice a year by their GP.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/ The Irish Times.

Varadkar says initiative, which 31,000 have signed up for, is ‘better for patients’

Varadkar said “we’re starting to see things turning” in relation to recruitment in the health sector. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Minister says extending scheme to all children is ‘very doable in the next year or two’

The Health Service Executive  report says to achieve the 15-month target by December, almost 18,000 extra people needing daycase and inpatient treatment will have to be seen. Photograph: Getty Images

Implementing scheme by December set to cost additional €102.5m, states HSE report

Dr Noreen Lineen Curtis with her son Oisín (8) near their home on Achill Island. Photograph: Keith Heneghan / Phocus

Dr Lineen Curtis gets little State support for her service to patients on offshore islands

Dr David Hickey: No pancreas transplants have been carried out this year, since he retired  from Beaumont Hospital at the end of 2014. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Specialists from Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary will operate between now and January

Report says rural GPs  need support for premises and out-of-hours services  to stop  flight of doctors from  remote areas

If nothing is done many areas of the country will be left without doctors, says ICGP

One reason for the trend is that more people are getting tested, and earlier, something which is critical for diseases that often present no symptoms

A new report puts Ireland at higher end for rates of infection among European countries

The INMO says trolley numbers at St Vincent’s are up 137 per cent in the first eight months of the year, compared with the same period in 2014. File photograph: Dave Meehan

Staff in emergency department to vote on strike action over persistent overcrowding

While the overall deficit at the end of the year looks set to top €500 million, the HSE says it expected most of its divisions to be close to break-even by December, although in mental health and primary care this will involve once-off measures that will not be sustainable next year. File photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA Photo

High trolley numbers and excessive inpatient, outpatient waiting lists soaking up resources

The Irish regulator for medical devices, along with regulators in other EU states, has suspended certification for silicone implants including breast implants  made by Silimed after contamination was found during an audit of the company’s plant in Brazil. File photograph:  Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Watchdog suspends certificate for devices after ‘particles’ found on samples in factory

 HSE director general Tony O’Brien said additional funding is needed to repair the impact of austerity on the health service. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tony O’Brien ‘making no apologies’ for articulating needs of health service

Dr Sam Coulter-Smith said standalone maternity units should be a thing of the past. Photograph: Getty Images

Rotunda master Sam Coulter-Smith says media revelations must be taken in context

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: the programme will be expanded over time, until the full 55-74 age group is covered. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Participation in BowelScreen much lower than for other screening programmes

Doctors say they will campaign to make health central issue in general election

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has stoutly defended his record, saying  that a wide range of measures have been put in place by the HSE to improve performance. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times.

Dáil hears Fianna Fáil private members’ motion criticising health service handling

 A seminar on health policy has heard financial barriers to healthcare need to be dismantled. File photograph: PA

Austerity measures mean every adult spends extra €130 a year on healthcare, conference hears

People say they would support a tax on sugar drinks if the proceeds were spent on initiatives promoting healthier diets among children. Photograph: Getty Images

Irish Heart Foundation says 20% tax on sugary drinks would raise €44.5m a year

A report from the European Centre for Disease Control shows that gonorrhoea rates continue to rise in Europe, particularly among men. Photograph: Thinkstock

Incidence of gonorrhoea rises fourfold while infection with syphilis and chlamydia doubles

A group of women with their children outside the Four Courts campaigning in support of midwife Philomena Canning last year. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Philomena Canning has not worked for a year despite having right to practise restored

The study, published in the Irish Medical Journal, show one in eight 40-42-year-olds succeeded in becoming pregnant with IVF or similar treatment, compared with just one in 20 in the 43-45 year age group. Photograph: Purestock/Getty Images

Just more than 2% aged 43-45 succeeded in having baby after treatment, study finds

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: Nursing Homes Ireland plans to present Mr Varadkar with a letter signed by 208 nursing home owners on Thursday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Department of Health says problem caused by incomplete applications being submitted

Joan and John Mulcair.

Caoimhe Mulcair’s parents say health executive’s admission is ‘six years too late’

Joan and John Mulcair, whose baby Caoimhe died 39 minutes after birth at Limerick maternity hospital.

Possibility of mishap no reason to involve coroner, Caoimhe Mulcair’s parents told

 Joan and John Mulcair outside the inquest  into death of their daughter  Caoimhe,  who died shortly after birth at University Maternity Hospital in Limerick in 2009. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Jury brings back medical misadventure verdict in the case of infant Caoimhe Mulcair

GPs around the country are reporting long waiting lists for patients requiring X-ray, scans and tests.

Many ‘opting to go private’ rather than wait up to 12 months to be seen in public system

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar  at Hawkins House in Dublin on Monday. A meeting of the emergencey department taskforce implemenattion group was held on Monday to discuss hospital overcrowding. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Consultants will be asked to change work practices to tackle high trolley numbers

One-quarter of Tallaght residents are dissatisfied with the care provided by their local hospital, according to the findings of a new study. Photograph: The Irish Times

TCD study finds one-quarter of people unhappy with standard of care at hospital

Leo Varadkar is releasing €25m to the HSE to tackle hospital waiting times. Photograph: Getty Images

Penalties for non-performing hospitals expected to run into millions of euro

A gluten-free lunchbox:  Rosanna Davison was criticised on social media after being quoted as saying gluten was “the bad guy responsible for a huge range of medical conditions from autism spectrum disorders to schizophrenia to arthritis”. She later said her views were “miscommunicated”. Photograph: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley.

Gluten links to autism, arthritis and schizophrenia extremely weak, conference told

Another €25m in the coming months will probably keep waiting lists in check for the rest of the year. Photograph: Getty Images

Waiting lists are swelling and extra funding is welcome but it is not a long-term solution

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar pledged to eliminate treatment wait times of 18 months or more by June

The Department of Health said because there was no single cause of Ireland’s obesity problem there would be no single solution. Photograph: Getty Images

Companies could be compelled to reduce levels if they fail to do so voluntarily

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has warned nurses that employing extra staff alone will not solve the trolley crisis in hospitals. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

INMO expected to announce limited industrial action across a number of hospitals

Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health: he said the exemption would ‘relieve some of the financial burden on people living in direct provision’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

People in direct provision won’t have to pay €2.50 per item, says Minister Leo Varadkar

Hiqa holds public consultation on plan to introduce selective vaccination against TB

In the latest incidents at St Raphael’s Centre for disabled people near Youghal, a HSE audit brought to light two incidents caught on CCTV, one in March and another in June. File photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Four staff at HSE-run St Raphael’s Centre in Co Cork facing disciplinary proceedings

Since 2011, the State has had a policy of moving people with intellectual disabilities from large institutions to smaller, community-based centres, and the number in “congregated settings” has dropped from over 4,000 to 2,800.

Hiqa should take account of lack of resources when critical of individual facilities, says HSE

Twelve medical consultants have previously made settlements as a result of Revenue’s investigation

Investigation into medical profession has netted €30m in tax and penalties to date

Former lobbyist Frank Dunlop made a settlement of €429,198 with Revenue.

Frank Dunlop and retired jockey and trainer Charlie Swan on latest tax defaulters list

Leo Varadkar: Wins kudos for his straight-talking. Photograph: The Irish Times

Health continues to be a thorn in the Coalition’s side but less so than under his predecessor

Leo Varadkar was accused of touting for business for insurers as he encouraged people to take out private health insurance. Photograph: Alan Betson

Sick system: The ailing health service, part2

Sick system, part 1 of a series on Ireland's ailing health service.

The Irish Times reported that 15 of the 65 stepdown beds were empty last week because of a reluctance by patients to cross the Liffey for convalescent care.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Leo Varadkar acknowledges difficulties getting patients to cross Liffey

A migrant holds a sign in front of Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Taoiseach says numbers to increase under EU deal

A bed without an occupant in   Mount Carmel Community Hospital on the day of  its  opening  in Churchtown, Co Dublin, September 3rd, 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Beds reserved for patients from hospitals on northside where severe shortage exists

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Political meddling is getting in the way of radical change at Portlaoise hospital

Dr Maura Pidgeon. Photograph: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Dr Maura Pidgeon led board during dispute with INMO over increased registration fee

Patients have been paying up to €500 a month for Fampridine from their own resources. Photograph: Getty Images

Extended campaign by patients proves success for medicine that helps sufferers to walk

The European Court of Justice found that a Scottish proposal on minimum alcohol pricing risked infringing EU rules on free trade. Photograph: Johnny Green/PA Wire

European Court of Justice said Scottish proposal could infringe on EU trade rules

Bimbo Paden was also censured by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland over the incident, which occurred in June 2013 at St John’s Community Hospital in Sligo.

Bimbo Paden censured over 2013 incident at St John’s community hospital in Sligo

Lloyds has denied any wrongdoing in its claiming of phased fees in respect of a single prescription dispensed in one visit and has insisted its approach is no different from other pharmacy chains. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

HSE says at no time has it been approached by whistleblower about controversial practice

Researchers identify protein that regulates severity of tissue damage caused by disease

One child treated in Temple Street hospital in Dublin weighed almost 30kg, double the average weight for their age-group. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Paediatrician Sinéad Murphy says families are desperate due to lack of services

Anxiety the main problem, followed by low mood, family problems and anger issues

PAC chairman John McGuinness: HSE  willl  be asked to explain “squandering” of public money in paying dispensing fees. Photograph:  David Sleator

Committee to investigate claims of multiple fees charged for single prescriptions

LloydsPharmacy Ireland managing director Goretti Brady: the group runs more than 90 pharmacies in  Republic, employs 1,000 people, and has plans for another  60 stores, employing 500 staff.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

LloydsPharmacy Ireland chain describes allegation as ‘entirely unfounded’

Lawyers for LloydsPharmacy criticised the HSE for alleging fraud and breach of contract in a letter sent to  managing director Goretti Brady (pictured) earlier this month.  Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Lloyds denies fraud over boosting income by claiming multiple medical card prescription fees

 Nurses who attended consultation meetings regarded the level of pay restoration in the revised Lansdowne Road agreement as “very minimal” compared with the “draconian” cuts imposed over the past six years. File photograph: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

INMO members vote 71% in favour of revised public pay deal in spite of reservations

 Dr Derek Power, consultant medical oncologist at Cork  University Hospital. Photograph: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

New data shows three-quarters of breast cancer patients will be alive a decade later

MS treatments have been developed which calm the underlying inflammation that causes the disease. Photograph: PA

Sufferers subjected to ‘postcode lottery’ despite HSE approval of remedial treatment

One drink a day puts women at increased risk of breast and other alcohol-related cancers, a major study has found. File photograph: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire

Medical review says those with family history of disease should consider giving up alcohol

Tallaght Hospital report says an increased focus on strategy is required at board level. Photograph: David Sleator

Board members discouraged by problem of portraying the hospital in a positive light

Melanoma: incidences of such  cancers  have increased by 6.7 per cent in men, according to a report prepared for the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries. Photograph: Thinkstock

Lung cancer in women up 11.7 per cent and colorectal cancer in men up 8.3 per cent

Photograph: Stephen Kelly/PA Wire.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals charging €4,557.50 per vial of Soliris for rare blood disorder

A consultant paediatric dental surgeon has said teething is “a natural, gentle and benign process, just like growing nails or hair”. Photograph: Getty Images

Symptoms often associated with teething are generally the result of infections

More than one-third of doctors working in Ireland were trained overseas, but many are prohibited by legislation from accessing training posts. Photograph: Benis Arapovic/Hemera/Getty.

Situation ‘a sophisticated form of modern slavery’ says Overseas Medics of Ireland

HSE says it needs over €250 million in funding to rehouse thousands of people with disabilities in smaller units and meet standards set by the health watchdog, Hiqa.

Money to be used to accelerate move from institutions to smaller accommodation units

The provision of more hospices or specialist care at home would reduce the number of patients dying in hospitals

Patients express preference for palliative care in specialist units over hospital care

There were 359 patients waiting for a hospital bed yesterday, up on the same day in 2014 (227 patients) and 2013 (242). Photograph: Frank Miller

Emergency being ‘squeezed’ as result of drive on Varadkar’s targets, say doctors

A screen grab from RTÉ’s Investigations Unit - Inside Bungalow 3 report on Prime Time last December.

Hiqa issues closure notice for five bungalows at Co Mayo facility

 Hiqa chief executive Phelim Quinn. File  photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Thousands of beds in State-run homes face closure over substandard facilities

Hiqa has been assessing nursing home standards since 2009, a few years after shocking revelations about the mistreatment of older people at Leas Cross. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Issue of substandard accommodation is coming to a head as new standards must be met

Breastfeeding is linked to a range of health benefits for newborn babies and mothers. Photograph: Getty Images

Just one mother in 40 exclusively breastfeeding by time baby is six-seven months

The Medical Council has sanctioned two doctors for inappropriate prescribing of  drugs. Photograph: PA Wire

Two medical professionals sanctioned for practices relating to prescribing of drugs

From left: Former Anglo officials Aoife Maguire, Tiarnan O’Mahoney and Bernard Daly.

‘Stroke of one button’ sealed the fate of the three bankers

Bernard Daly  was sentenced to two years. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov

First bankers to go to jail since start of economic crisis

From left: Former Anglo officials Aoife Maguire, Tiarnan O’Mahoney and Bernard Daly.

Tiarnan O’Mahoney given 3 year term, Bernard Daly 2 years, Aoife Maguire 18 months

Minister of State at the  Department of Health Kathleen Lynch. Photograph: North West Newspix

Almost 40,000 older people can now apply for free doctors’ visits under health scheme

The report also flags a more optimistic future for patients due to advances in treatment. Photograph: Getty Images

Report reveals health consequences of contaminated blood products supplied by State

The HSE said it has been unable to deliver cost savings ‘because our focus has been on opening/maintaining additional bed and other capacity’.

Service unable to cut costs ‘because our focus has been on opening additional bed capacity’

Nationally, €238 million was spent on agency staff in 2013.  Photograph: Getty Images

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Co Louth, in breach of HSE regulations on agencies

The total spend on gift cards in 2012 at the National Drug Treatment Centre came to €1,515. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Management at National Drug Treatment Centre said cards related to play therapy

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