Ireland used to have more widespread voluntary folic acid fortification than other European countries and the rate of birth defects fell up to 2008. However, it started rising again in 2009

A growing incidence of severe birth defects among Irish newborns is being linked to a reduction in the amounts of folic acid added by food manufactur(...)

Department chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan had recommended in his report that the Portlaoise unit be placed under the governance of the Coombe in order to provide quality and safe healthcare. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times.

The maternity unit at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise is to be placed under the control of one of the big Dublin maternity hospitals, in a(...)

“Heart disease remains a leading cause of death and disability in both parts of Ireland and high by European standards,” said Dr Roger O’Sullivan, director of the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland, which funded the study.

Older people in Northern Ireland are far more likely to suffer from heart disease, long-term illness and disability than those in the Republic, accord(...)

The Coombe hospital in Dublin. It balked at taking on the Portlaoise task without extra staff and resources

A plan to place maternity services at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise under the control of one of the big Dublin maternity hospitals has(...)

Tony O Brien, director general of the  HSE, said he didn’t dispute the serious problems at the hospital. Photo: David Sleator/The Irish Times

The HSE appealed to the Department of Health to “urgently intervene” earlier in the bitter row with health watchdog Hiqa over its investigation into (...)

Dr Wilfrid Hoover accused the hospital of “dilly-dallying” in carrying out an internal review into the death of Co Westmeath woman Ellen Devery-Allen in December 2013. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A coroner has identified shortcomings in the record-keeping of doctors at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe but said he didn’t think there was any l(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he wants to see the Portlaoise hospital report published but added two organisations using public money should not be in “court situations”.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he wants to see the Portlaoise hospital report published but added two organisations using public money should not be in(...)

HSE director general Tony O’Brien: described the women’s accounts as “unverified” and said the draft Hiqa report lacks accuracy and balance. Photograph: Alan Betson

A controversial draft report into baby deaths at a midlands hospital makes more than 250 “adverse findings or inferences” affecting senior figures (...)

Over 30 per cent of mothers giving birth were single and 27 per cent were born outside Ireland, according to the HSE’s National Perinatal Statistic Report for 2013. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ireland’s birth rate continues to decline gently while the average age of mothers having children increases, a new report shows.Over 30 per cent of mo(...)

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said it is not appropriate for government agencies to sue each other and that he would expect two bodies to sort out any dispute they had without resorting to the law.

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said it is not appropriate for State agencies to sue each other and he would expect two bodies to sort out any d(...)