Coombe wrote to woman: “As you are aware, your foetus has been diagnosed with a complex foetal anomaly.” Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Coombe says medics not of opinion foetus would die before or within 28 days of birth

About 2-3 per cent of pregnancies are complicated by congenital abnormalities, of which about 15 per cent are life-limiting or potentially so. Photograph: Getty

New guidelines on treatment of babies with fatal foetal anomalies published

While the Coombe hospital said it could not comment on individual cases, it said the board did not have an input into certification for terminations. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Two TDs tell Dáil a woman was denied abortion ‘despite consultants’ approval’

The Coombe Women and Infants hospital in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan for The Irish Times

Level of service available for women living in Coombe’s catchment area not entirely clear

The Coombe is the only one of the three big Dublin maternity units that has not yet started taking referrals for women seeking abortions. File photograph: Barry Cronin

Guide to the law on abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality

Tom Costello, chairman of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board. Photograph: Ray Lohan/ The Irish Times

‘When the dust settles, we won’t have much change from €2bn’

Almost 4,000 incidents where equipment being used in the care of patients in Irish hospitals failed have been reported over a three-year period. File photograph: Getty Images

Patients’ group says new children’s hospital is ‘choking’ investment in other facilities

Minister for Health Simon Harris: his decision to introduce terminations of pregnancy on January 1st has all the hallmarks of an exercise in political box-ticking. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Bad preparation has left health professionals with little guidance, training and resources

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) said  there were 392 patients in need of admission  waiting in emergency departments and 149 in wards on Monday. File image: Bryan O’Brien

Number of patients on trolleys on Monday rises to 541 as swine flu numbers rise

Dubliners are an average distance of just 5km from and ED, equivalent to about 10 minutes on the road. Photograph: Tom Honan

Carlow, Leitrim and Donegal are the worst-served counties, Eircode data shows

Amid the continuing controversy over an anti-abortion protest outside a GP clinic in Galway last week, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin said: “It’s up to the Government to provide ways in which the various rights of people are protected.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Law requires at least three days elapse between a consultation and a termination

Almost 200 babies a year suffer lack of oxygen to the brain during birth, resulting in death or disability Photograph: Photodisc

Birth-related injuries account for most €450 million paid out by HSE in compensation

Minister for Health Simon Harris disputed the Irish Hospital Consultants Association’s assessment, saying it was “inaccurate” to suggest the lower numbers of trolleys could be attributed to the curtailment of elective procedure. Photograph: James Forde

Efforts to cut trolley numbers and bed, doctor shortages impacting on ‘urgent cancer surgery’

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has urged caution about staging anti-abortion protests outside GP surgeries. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Dr Diarmuid Martin speaks out amid continuing controversy over Galway picket


Not a single GP in Sligo, Leitrim, Carlow and Offaly signs up to the new service

Anti-abortion protesters outside a GP surgery in Galway city on Thursday morning.

HSE warns websites are claiming to offer services using variation of official MyOptions site

If sold, the Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin  site could raise up to €37 million, according to a memo from Minister for Health Simon Harris.

Our Lady’s land bank could have ‘significant residual value’ after St James’s opens

Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger has criticised a decision by the Rotunda to accept abortion referrals only up to 11 weeks into a pregnancy.

HSE warns hospitals not to restrict services to women from their catchment area

Anti-abortion protesters outside a GP surgery in Galway city on Thursday morning.

Demonstration comes as HSE issues warning about pregnancy support websites

Hiqa published 49 inspection reports on public and private nursing homes, and found evidence of good practice and compliance with regulations and standards in 29 centres

Hiqa report uncovers issues with protection, record-keeping, staffing and infection control

The MyOptions helpline has been set up by the HSE as the main referral path for women seeking a termination.

Exact level of demand for abortion service will not be known for some weeks

The single biggest factor underlying the improvement in trolley figures is the later arrival of the flu this winter.

Emergency department overcrowding down by half on same day last year

The number of cases of the disease among young children has fallen from 46 in 2008 to just one in 2016. Photograph: Getty Images

Incidence of invasive pneumococcal diseases in under-5s falling since 2008 vaccine introduction

The HSE said there will be a shortfall of ultrasound facilities in the southeast, southwest, midwest and midlands regions. Photograph: iStock

HSE letter to State hospital groups highlights lack of abortion services

Runaway costs: the project aims to raise €150 million through philanthropy to help fund building the hospital

State may sell off the name of the flagship building

An artist’s impression of the exterior of the proposed new National Children’s Hospital at St James’s in Dublin

Harris considering sponsor opportunities for overall and sectional nomenclature at site

“The concern relates to not having an adult involved in the decision, not the termination of pregnancy.” Photograph: iStock

Access to services without parental consent to be had in ‘exceptional circumstances’

The construction cost of the new national children’s hospital, the State’s biggest construction project, will probably come close to €2 billion.

High levels of construction inflation resulting in bigger payments to main contractors

Projects that may be shelved include new laboratories and theatres at the Coombe hospital, and a €3.4m investment in paediatric and blood services.

Confidential memo from Simon Harris says final bill for the facility could be €1.73bn

Minister for Health Simon Harris. Photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times

Sources say 145 GPs have signed a contract to provide termination services to patients

Dr Caitriona Henchion, Irish Family Planning Association medical director: ‘Most important is the referral pathway.’ File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Referral pathway must be finalised by HSE before service can begin, says medical director

Minister for Health Simon Harris (centre) with Ministers of State Finian McGrath and Catherine Byrne at the publication of the   HSE national sevice plan for 2019. Photograph: James Forde/The Irish Times.

Reductions to be sought in legal and consultancy costs, procurements, agency staff

Áras an Uachtaráin said on Thursday that President Michael D Higgins had signed the Bill on abortion and it had become law. File photograph: Tom Honan

Development comes as Medical Council makes changes to its conduct and ethics code

National Maternity Hospital (NMH) at the St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) campus, shown in the graphic above.

Peter Boylan delighted there will be ‘no possibility of religious ethos influencing clinical care’

The vast majority of the State’s 19 maternity units have stated their preparedness to provide surgical abortion in the new year.

Service planners understood to be satisfied with GP uptake and geographical spread

Under the new service, GPs will provide medical abortions to women up to nine weeks gestation, while terminations between nine and 12 weeks will be carried out in hospitals.

Guidelines provide ‘suggestions’ for GPs who have a conscientious objection to abortion

Cranes tower above the National Children’s Hospital site, as viewed from the South Circular Road in Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Long-awaited new facility not expected to be ready to open until August 2022

Common respiratory conditions account for one-in-five deaths, and one-in-five emergency hospitalisations, in Ireland. File photograph: Getty Images

Respiratory deaths in Ireland 40% above EU average – accounting for one-in-five fatalities

The  site  of the  National Children’s Hospital viewed from the South Circular Road, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Government stonewalls: Taxpayers so far given no explanation for massive cost overrun

Minister for Health Simon Harris told the group developing the new hospital it must make every effort to mitigate the increased cost. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Cabinet to review capital budgets in Government departments as hospital costs rise

Mercy University Hospital has since increased screening and surveillance of CPE.

Hiqa report notes insufficient infection prevention and control resources

Coombe master Dr Sharon Sheehan  has cited issues including the absence of finalised clinical guidelines, models of care and legislation, as well as staff training and resources, for a delay implementing new legislation. Photograph: Alan Betson

GPs express concern over ultrasound access and referral of women to hospitals

James Menton, chairman of St Vincent’s University Hospital,  Minister for Health Simon Harris and Master of the National Maternity Hospital  Dr Rhona Mahony: new EU building rules could force the project to be redesigned, escalating the cost and threatening its future. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

St Vincent’s site may fall foul of EU building rules after saga of politics, finance and ethos

St Vincent’s University Hospital in south Dublin, site of the proposed new National Maternity Hospital. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Government hopeful of deal with hospitals on new facility ahead of year-end deadline

Two drugs, Mifepristone and Misoprostol, are used in a medical abortion. File photograph: Getty Images

Everything you need to know before the planned introduction of termination services

Teenage girls are covered by the current HPV vaccine programme

Hiqa findings clear way for roll-out of gender-neutral immunisation programme

Dr Peter Boylan said that if the service is not introduced women will still have to go to the UK for terminations and any delay would not be fair. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Medic responds to complaints from doctors that process is being rushed

A pro-choice march in Dublin, 2015. Photograph: Eric Luke

Health professionals have ‘serious concerns’ January 1st introduction is being rushed

Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Analysis: Woefully inadequate winter plan and extra funding are coming late in the day

The Home First team at St James’s Hospital, Dublin: Sinead Flynn, social worker; Sinead O’Connor, occupational therapist; Lucinda Edge, physiotherapist; Paul Staunton,  clinical director, emergency medicine. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

St James’s Hospital initiative also ensures well patients are discharged promptly

Radiologists have said all public hospital radiology departments are under pressure due to the demands placed on them. File photograph: iStock

Small hospital radiology departments under pressure due to inadequate staffing

The review of 46,234 CT scans, ultrasounds and chest X-rays concerned the work of a single consultant radiologist who no longer works at the hospital. Photograph: Flashfilm/Getty Images

Audit finds 11 patients suffered delayed diagnosis and serious impact on their health

General manager of UHK Fearghal Grimes, UHK clinical director Dr Claire O’Brien, chairman of the review Dr Gerard O’Callaghan  and Celia Cronin of the South/South West Hospital Group presenting their findings yesterday. Photograph:  Domnick Walsh/Eye Focus

Regrettable action not taken sooner following review of 46,000 scans in Kerry

The review was the largest ever conducted of X-rays and other tests in the Irish hospital system.

Four of the 11 patients who had a delayed diagnosis have died since delay was identified

The HSE has refunded the €750 in excess charges paid by the man following the investigation by the Ombudsman, Peter Tyndall. File photograph: iStock

Investigation revealed there is no integrated payment system in HSE for managing hospital charges nationally

The policy for  provision of dental services is being comprehensively updated for the first time in 25 years.  Photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

Oral health policy fails to offer postgraduate and lifelong learning for dental practitioners

The first child born following uterine transplantation from a living donor occurred in Sweden in 2013. File photograph: Getty Images

Successful transplant carried out in Brazil

Attempts by ICGP chief executive Fintan Foy to speak at the meeting were repeatedly interrupted.

Dozens of doctors walked out of event claiming ‘serious crisis’ over abortion services

Dr Peter Boylan said expectations had to be kept in context, and that women in other countries often had to travel “hundreds of miles” to access such services. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Peter Boylan says ‘inevitably, there will be problems’ and nobody should expect ‘perfection’ from service

Tory Island, Co Donegal. The HSE  focuses on the provision of health services to nearly 3,000 people living on 18 islands off the coast of Ireland that are not connected by a land causeway with the mainland. Photograph: Fáilte Ireland

HSE review finds that islanders find the services fragmented and unpredictable

Minister for Health Simon Harris said doctors had a right to conscientious objection but “women also have a right to healthcare” and “one right cannot trump another”.

Department asks all 19 maternity units for updates on abortion services rollout

 Numerous studies worldwide have linked outbreaks of bacterial infection in hospitals to contamination of wash basin drains and U-bends. Photograph: Getty Images

System developed at dental hospital decontaminates wash basins and plumbing

The National Maternity Hospital, on Holles Street, Dublin 2. On Sunday, Mr Harris insisted he was not “meddling” in the €300 million move to Dublin 4. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Simon Harris wants a public-interest director on board of the new institution

 Minister for Health Simon Harris says in the context of abortion services a ‘conscientious objection is that you don’t have to be involved in a procedure’. Photograph: Collins

Doctors have concerns over issue of conscientious objection and workload on others

Hundreds of members of the Irish College of GPs are expected to attend an extraordinary general meeting about abortion and ultrasound services. Photograph: Thinkstock

HSE seeks tenders to furnish ultrasound due to length of public health system waiting lists

Leo Varadkar: “I think we need to examine court procedures and the way our courts are managed so that cases can be heard more quickly”

Thinly veiled criticism comes as Varadkar rejects call by judge for more appointments

PNA general secretary Peter Hughes said the strike was a serious escalation in a dispute which was entirely of the HSE’s making and which the union had repeatedly asked the HSE to resolve.  Photograph:iStock

Psychiatric Nurses Association said members to hold a one-day action on December 19th

Meanwhile, the number of recorded cases of gonorrhoea also grew last year, by 15 per cent to 2,249, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre has found.

The vast majority of cases of the sexually-transmitted disease were among men

More people than ever are living with or after cancer as survival rates have improved over the past 20 years. Photograph: iStock

Cases to double in next 30 years as population ages, says National Cancer Registry

Only one in five hip fracture patients were discharged home directly following surgery, according to the latest Irish Hip Fracture Database report. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ten people daily break their hips but achievement of target varies from 92 to 55%

The number of overnights accessed by people with a disability fell by up to 4 per cent in the first half of this year, compared with the same period in 2017.

Huge variation in provision of respite hours in different areas, new figures show

Minister for Health Simon Harris: “Paternalism” and “offensive nature” of some doctors’ comments to women with cervical cancer, as relayed in the Scally report, resonated with him. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Health errors treated as ‘ingrained cover-ups’ rather than open communication

CervicalCheck campaigner Vicky Phelan. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

More teenage girls getting vaccinated as awareness increases, conference hears

The INMO, which has been counting the number of admitted patients without a bed since 2004, says 2017 was the worst year up to now. Photograph: iStock

Overcrowding at record levels, according to Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation

Lorraine Walsh (centre) with Stephen Teap and Vicky Phelan at the formal launch of 221+ CervicalCheck Patient Support Group last month.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Woman caught up in controversy calls for mediation to help rebuild trust

The findings come from  the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing study, which has been tracking more than 8,000 over-50s for the past seven years. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Women and rural dwellers more likely to enjoy benefits due to superior social networks

Lung cancer is the bigger cancer killer among women in Ireland, responsible for more deaths than breast and colorectal cancer combined. Photograph: PA

People with the disease are stigmatised due to its link to smoking, research finds

Fianna Fail TD  Marc MacSharry said the default position of the medical community on Lyme disease seemed to be “there’s nothing to see here” Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/THE IRISH TIMES

Founder of resource centre for Lyme disease claims Mater’s decision was ‘political’

Some patients said there was a lack of privacy when consultants were discussing medical histories. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Survey of more than 13,000 people reveal both positive and negative experiences

IMO president Dr Peadar Gilligan said vacant posts for consultants “are proving impossible to fill”.

Union says some doctors earning up to €60,000 less than colleagues appointed after 2012

Only 31 per cent of patients were admitted within the target time and 3 per cent said they had waited 48 hours or more before admission, the Hiqa survey found.

Ennis and Cork hospitals rated highest by patients, and Limerick lowest

Last winter saw record levels of hospital overcrowding, including several days when more than 700 patients were on trolleys.

Plans were not submitted to the Department of Health until the start of November

The Mater hospital  treats about 1,200 HIV patients, at an average cost of €8,000-€10,000 a year for their medication., Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

HSE and Mater hospital at odds over provision of patients’ details

The review of hospital car parking charges was ordered last March after the Irish Cancer Society pointed out a patient could spend up to €1,000 on parking over the course of treatment. Photograph: iStock

New system could include a two day parking pass for €10 or five day pass for €20

A total of 140 infants underwent brain and body-cooling treatment in four Irish hospitals in 2016 and 2017 after experiencing reduced oxygen or blood supply at birth. Photograph: iStock

A total of 140 babies underwent therapeutic hypothermia treatment over two years

Hospital food: improvements have  been implemented in some hospitals

A new policy aimed at improving what we serve patients comes not a moment too soon

Crumlin, though best known as a children’s hospital, also provides genetic services nationally for both adults and children.

Hospital says patients should have no cause for concern over accuracy of test results

Minister for Health Simon Harris (left), with patient Sr Margaret Quinn at the opening of the cataract unit at Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin in 2017. Photograph:  Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography.

Opening of new operating theatre at Eye and Ear Hospital cuts wait time to 12 months

Irish people are the most positive in Europe about their health status, according to a new report, and are among the least likely to report a chronic health condition or disability

Few doctors, many nurses in Irish health system, finds ‘Health at a Glance’ report

Some 18.5 per cent of the Irish population was recorded as having a mental health disorder, such as anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, or alcohol or drug use, in 2016.

Mental health problems cost the Irish economy over € 8.2 billion a year

Spending on high-tech drugs has increased from €400 million in 2012 to €700 million this year, the committee heard. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland needs ‘innovative approach’ to reimburse cost of drugs to treat rare diseases

Chief medical officer of the Department of Health, Dr Tony Holohan was asked by Minister for Health Simon Harris to draw up a report on mesh devices last July. File photograph: Eric Luke

Chief medical officer says mesh devices associated with significant and severe complications in minority of women

A Government decision to fund lifesaving cancer drugs for the 221 women caught up in the CervicalCheck controversy while withholding it from other women with the disease will ‘explode in everyone’s face’, according to Labour TD Alan Kelly. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Labour TD criticises selective provision of drug to women caught up in CervicalCheck controversy

The volume of antidepressants prescribed after the 2016 Brexit referendum increased by 13.4 per cent relative to other drugs,  researchers found. Illustration: Getty Images

Researchers say prescribing rose by 13.4 per cent relative to other drugs in that period

A paucity of homecare options has also been a factor in the rise of delayed discharges from hospitals.

Package to include additional transitional care beds and €4m for aids and appliances

Members of the Justice for Polio Survivors campaign occupying Rehab’s Park West offices in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Group claims charity provides relatively little support compared with funds raised over years

Vera Dwyer after being presented with her gold medallion being congratulated by her granddaughter Sarah Kiernan (12) and her daughter Della Beirne.

Vera Dwyer has become the world’s longest surviving single lung transplant recipient

Two out of every three complaints related to full daycare services. Photograph: iStock

Tusla received 276 complaints about preschools, creches and other facilities last year

The Children’s Hospital Group has described the incident as a ‘transcription error’.

One woman’s mis-transcribed test result an ‘isolated incident’, says Minister

Minister of State Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Children Katherine Zappine and Minister for Children Simon Harris,  and friends at the launch of First 5, a new strategy for babies, young children and their families. Photograph: Maxwells

Extension of supports to all paid childminders among plans in First 5 strategy

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