HSE shines light on itself in internal assessment for Government

HSE director general Tony O’Brien and Minister for Health Simon Harris. Mr O’Brien advised the Minister  at the end of November that there were already doubts that new value or money savings targets of €346m would be realised in full. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Simon Harris told of doubts about realising targets for health budget savings

The HSE has  warned it could face major problems in paying tens of thousands of healthcare staff from next year as a result of an obsolete payroll system. Photograph: Getty Images

Government warned accident or terrorist attack could cause ‘mass casualties’

HSE director-general  Tony O’Brien (left) and Minister for Health Simon Harris announce the HSE’s National Service Plan for 2018. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Director-general Tony O’Brien had doubts that value savings of €346m could be made

Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell. File Photograph: Eric Luke

Opposition back calls for pay restoration for workers in Section 39 organisations

“A scourge for us is bogus self-employment and we are going to tackle that full on,” said the new Connect union. Photograph: iStock

Connect union launches with 45,000 members from construction and electrical sectors

There were more than 550 people on trolleys in emergency departments or on wards awaiting admission to a hospital bed on Wednesday, nurses have said.

Nurses say 53 people deemed by doctors to need admission on trolleys or wards in CUH

Senor gardaí will not receive pay rises which came into effect from this month as they have not signed up to the new public service agreement, the Department of Justice has said. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times.

Associations did not sign up to new public pay deal by deadline of January 1st

The strategy is likely to again raised concerns among activists in the midlands regarding the future role of the regional hospital in Portlaoise (above) where campaigners have been opposed to any downgrading of existing 24/7 emergency services. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh

New strategy for Dublin Midlands Hospital Group likely to raise concerns among campaigners for Portlaoise Hospital

Medical card

Applicants can submit all supporting documents digitally

News of the deep levels of concern about Garda overtime comes after it emerged that funding for some of the Garda’s armed units was at risk. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Department of Public Expenditure believes overspend reached €1m per week at end 2017

Midland Regional Hospital: The deaths of five babies in Portlaoise were reported in 2014 and scores of women have come forward with stories of adverse events in the maternity unit.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Investigation into infant fatalities at Portlaoise hospital was announced in 2015

Trainer Aidan O’Brien during early morning exercises for two-year-old colts at Ballydoyle

Yard of top trainer Aidan O’Brien claimed grooms and riders were engaged in agricultural activities

Minister for Health Simon Harris said the out-patient waiting list remained ‘a big challenge that needs to be addressed’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Waiting list figures rising as Minister for Health criticised for ‘failing’ to deal with crisis

Train drivers overwhelmingly rejected a deal earlier this week which would have seen them receive a special 1.15 per cent pay rise for past productivity. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Rail operator to make training new drivers compulsory in return for pay rise

The level of overcrowding in hospitals across the country has eased with 473 people on trolleys. Photograph: iStock

Numbers of patients on hospital trolleys eases back to 473, say nurses

Health Committee Chair Roisin Shortall with committee members during the launch of the Future of Healthcare Sláintecare report.

Role likely to involve salary package between €147,000 and €171,000

HSE chief executive Tony O’Brien said they could not simply go to Bargaintown and buy additional beds. Photograph: Emma Jervis/Press 22

Body says new building would be needed to absorb the necessary additional capacity

 Irish Rail said that non-cooperation by existing staff with the training of new drivers was preventing the introduction of a planned ten-minute frequency DART service and the expansion of other services.  File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Opposition linked to unhappiness over €500 voucher for Dunnes Stores

 INMO figures suggest  number of people on trolleys is down from the record levels of 677 reached last week.

551 people currently on trolleys waiting for admission to hospital bed, says INMO

Dr Kevin Kelleher  said samples from GPs in the community showed the B virus was accounting for 60%  of flu cases, while in hospitals and intensive care units it was accounting for 50% of cases

Number of people on trolleys increases to 575 on Tuesday

In Dublin the largest number waiting for a bed was 37 at St Vincent’s University Hospital in south Dublin.

Nurses say 46 patients waiting for a bed at Cork University Hospital

The more things change: a protest against the state of the health service in 2006. Photograph: Frank Miller

The main recommendations of two previous reports were never implemented in full

Irish Pharmacy Union: its proposal would “alleviate pressure on overworked GPs”. Photograph: Bloomberg

Proposal comes as doctors object to plan to stop paying overtime to hospital interns

The review recommends that a number of hospitals should be established to deal exclusively with elective or non-urgent cases. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Capacity study says up to 2,500 additional beds required if reformed health system implemented

The INMO said there were 483 patients awaiting admission to a hospital bed on trolleys  on Friday, down from nearly 600 on Thursday, and a record  677 on Wednesday

Doctors accuse Taoiseach of ‘shocking ignorance’ about the health service

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  “This is the third year in a row that we’ve had more resources, a bigger budget, more staff, more beds, more home care, and despite all that we haven’t seen an improvement.” Photograph: Tibor Illyes/AP)

Extra beds, homecare, staff and money made little difference says Taoiseach

592 people on trolleys as HSE confirms fewer than 10 deaths from flu this winter season

Even if several hundred additional acute hospital beds could be conjured up next week, the problem of securing sufficient staff to operate them would remain. Photograph: Alan Betson

Department of Health estimates each additional bed will cost €325,000

The Irish Medical Organisation  said the country’s hospitals were effectively running an emergency service only on a year-round basis, with elective procedures now down to a trickle.  Photograph: Getty images

Minister for Health Simon Harris says he will back HSE in tackling the overcrowding crisis

The National Bus and Rail Union said Iarnród Éireann staff were unhappy their voucher could only be used at one retailer. Photograph: Eric Luke

Irish Rail drivers will reject pay offer for past productivity, according to unions

The number of people on trolleys and wards awaiting a bed in an Irish hospital has risen again to a new high of 677.

INMO says staff face ‘intolerable’ conditions and patients in ‘inhumane’ situations

Irish Rail sponsorship was criticised in light of deferred  maintenance of tracks due to a lack of resources and fact workers had not had a pay rise for 10 years.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Frank Allen would prefer not to defend sum spent due to firm’s stated lack of resources

University Hospital Limerick recorded the highest annual number of patients on trolleys at 8,869. File photograph: Emma Jervis/Press 22

INMO warns of potential post-Christmas surge of patients in emergency departments

Minister for Health Simon Harris said he did not rule out permitting doctors to work in privately-owned facilities despite Sláintecare calling for a separation of private practice and public hospitals. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Minister rejects ‘unrealistic’ criticism of delays in implementing healthcare reforms

Simon Harris:  “The Government’s view is that €55 or €60 to bring your child to see the doctor is too expensive.”  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister says it is ‘silly’ to say there are not recruitment difficulties in our health service

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: said in his Budget speech last October that increased exchequer funding would allow for 1,800 additional staff to be recruited. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

HSE says it is too early to say how many additional staff will be recruited in 2018

Many of 25 recommendations on improving graduate retention in the public health system have not been implemented

In February 2018, former national director of HSE clinical programmes Barry White will take up a role with VHI to scope out a new model of care.

VHI interest in purchasing private hospitals signals a shift in commercial strategy

Siptu health division organiser Paul Bell: warned of threat to services. Photograph: Eric Luke

Siptu warns services will be disrupted if ballot for industrial action is passed

Minister for Health Simon Harris said VHI wanted to ensure it remained a commercial semi-State body on a sustainable basis into the future. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Health says he would ‘need to think long and hard’ about any initiative

The HSE has forecast it will face a €346 million shortfall next year. Photograph: Alan Betson

Value improvement programme sounds suspiciously like savings targets

Tony O’Brien, Director General of the HSE with  Minister for Health Simon Harris  at the announcement of details of the HSE National Service Plan 2018. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

HSE’s latest service plan warns of financial challenges in 2018

File image of a CT scan on a screen.

Analysis of radiography department calls for increase in staffing levels

The Beacon Hospital, Sandyford: VHI  approached its owners a few months ago about a possible purchase.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

State-owned insurer understood to be looking to buy St Vincent’s after Beacon bid failed

More than 46,000 scans related to some 27,000 patients of University Hospital Kerry are being re-examined. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien

HSE report finds radiologists carried out all ultrasound referrals by GPs after 5pm

In 2011 the then Minister for Health James Reilly pledged that there would never again be 567 patients on trolleys on a single day. File photograph: Frank Miller

Cork University Hospital among worst affected with 54 patients waiting

 Simon Harris: he will bring the HSE service plan for 2018  before Cabinet

Cabinet to consider health authority’s spending plan for 2018

The Irish Times reported last summer that a number of doctors working as consultants in public hospitals did not hold specialist qualifications. Photograph: Getty Images

What determines a ‘fit and proper’ doctor will be part of new healthcare licensing system

The Irish Medical Organisation  said the Government’s plan could not go ahead without negotiations and the provision of adequate resources for general practice. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Scheme will not deliver cards before next summer and will require new legislation

 Ryanair aircraft at   Rome’s Ciampino airport. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Airline says in surprise move it will recognise trade unions in bid to head off strike action


Additional compensation to be pursued for escalating costs of housing and childcare

The Department of Health said all people in receipt of carer’s allowance were to receive a GP visit card, but the National Association of General Practitioners  said the  announcement was “a populist move to win votes”. File photograph: Getty Images

Harris criticised by doctors over plan after acknowledging existing capacity shortage

Medical bodies tell Oireachtas most doctors exceeed their contractual hours

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said it was very important that the right candidate was secured to carry out the job of Garda commissioner. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Ministers told pay of up to €250,000, allowance for accommodation may be required

Minister for Health Simon Harris: says it is recognised the delivery of healthcare is an “inherently risky activity” and it is inevitable things may go wrong on occasion.  Photograph: Gareth Chaney Collins

Licensing system for hospitals proposed by Simon Harris

Minister for Health Simon Harris with Rachel Flynn of Hiqa: the National Patient Experience Survey 2017 found most patients rated their stay in hospital to be good or very good.  Photograph: Julien Behal

Taoiseach says two fewer outpatients per GP per week would free up hospital capacity

There were 497,721 people on the out-patient waiting list nationally at the end of November. Photograph: PA Wire

Number of people waiting for consultant appointment rises by another 3,000

Trains sit idle on the platforms at Heuston Station, Dublin last month  during a  second one-day strike by Irish Rail train drivers over pay and conditions. Photograph: PA

Train staff set for pay rises of 2.5% for 3 years and €500 tax-free voucher to resolve strike

21.4 per cent of female non-consultant hospital doctors and 11.5 per cent of male non-consultant hospital doctors report that they had experienced sexual harassment in the previous two years. Photograph: Getty

IMO says bullying, sexual harrassment are common features of Irish medical practice

The  IMO maintained that nearly one third of women non-consultant hospital doctors reported being bullied on the basis of their gender. File photograph: iStock

Workplace bullying common in medical practice, says Irish Medical Organisation

The Department of Health said  it was essential  it was in a position to attract candidates of calibre for what would be a considerable health reform programme. Photograph: Getty Images

Department of Health sought €24,000 performance bonus for new post

The Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina Doherty said the new legislation would significantly improve the employment protections for people  in less secure arrangements. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Minister says Government will strengthen rights for workers on insecure contracts

The Department of Health has proposed a five-year contract as part of the recruitment process for the person appointed to implement the Sláintecare health reform plan.

Department recommends salary package of up to €171,000 for Sláintecare lead role

Siptu’s Paul Bell said  the failure of the Government to commit to a process to restore the pay of Section 39 organisation workers in line with HSE staff and others providing the same services was  unacceptable. Photograph: Eric Luke

Dispute arises from not getting pay cut restorations given to direct State employees

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe:     “Many pensioners feel that they have earned their pension and should not have to ‘sign on’ as a jobseeker in order to receive a portion of it.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Age Action warns against two-tier retirement system

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe said the decision of State employees to remain on after the traditional retirement age of 65 would be optional. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

The new changes will not apply to frontline groups such as gardaí and firefighters

 Patricia King, general secretary Irish Congress of Trade Unions, aid the report confirmed there was now “an urgent necessity” for Government to address the problem.  Photograph: Eric Luke

Nearly 160,000 people have significant variations in their hours of work

“This approach would move to a more equitable position of financially recognising performance.” Photograph: iStock

Introduction of merit pay system would ‘not be for the faint-hearted’, study finds

Dr. Rhona Mahony: ’I can only conclude there is a positive effort to prevent recruitment’. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

NMH master criticises ‘quiet disgrace’ of number of doctors not on training schemes

A HSE report urges the Government to assign powers to the  Health Insurance Authority to require that insurers only reimburse consultants employed by public hospitals for the treatment of subscribers where contractually they are allowed to do so. File photograph: Getty Images

Call for insurers to be stopped from paying for work carried out in breach of contract

Unions have strongly criticised the current two-tier pay structure which has seen those recruited since 2011 paid less than those in place prior to that date.

Submission to Public Service Pay Commission critical of ‘inequality’ in the profession

Family doctors have warned further increases in eligibility for free GP care in the absence of increased capacity will lead to waiting lists. Photograph: PA.

Oireachtas committee hears of ‘Victorian’ position of nurses in general practices

Minister for Health Simon Harris whose department is expected to receive additional funding of almost €200 million to cover overspending. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

New supplementary estimate to be proposed despite earlier opposition to such a move

Bus Éireann management says “it remains of paramount importance that these rosters ... are introduced as planned”. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Unions say plans to implement new rosters for drivers unilaterally will be resisted

Global, regional and national health workforce demand is expected to increase in the years ahead, Minister for Health Simon Harris said. Photograph: Alan Betson

Harris launches new framework to support recruitment and retention of personnel

The Government is to publish new employment rights legislation in the coming weeks. Photograph: Getty

Mandate says thousands of workers put up with week to week income changes

The design and implementation of new Bus Éireann rosters has proved to be problematical. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill.

The NBRU warns of ballot for industrial action if drivers’ rosters are changed

Organ receiver transport: patients must present at the transplant centre in the UK within four hours of notification of a donor heart becoming available and within six hours of a liver becoming available.

State must juggle expense of night flights to England with loss of organs when available

The Irish Coast Guard: could be requested to recruit a dedicated aircrew to operate its Dublin-based helicopter at night, if available. Photograph: Liam Burke/Press 22

Air Corps or Coast guard no longer able to fly patients to UK for transplants at night-time

The three further strikes are planned for Tuesday, November 14th, the day of Ireland’s home World Cup play-off tie with Denmark; Thursday, November 23rd; and Friday, December 8th, traditionally a busy Christmas shopping day. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Irish rail staff would receive 7.5% pay increase plus €500 voucher under Labour Court recommendation

AGSI members back accord by 91 per cent to 9 per cent

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:  will not benefit from the unwinding of pay cuts provided under the Bill for other public servants by 2022. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Bill aims to restore emergency legislation cuts for most State staff by July 2021

 Irish Rail: Unions argue that the 3,800 employees at the company have not had a pay rise in 10 years. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Unions at Irish Rail due to meet on Friday to consider expected recommendation

People attending an ASTI protest seeking equal pay for younger teachers outside Leinster House, Dublin, last year. File photograph: Eric Luke

Central executive council of ASTI vote to continue to suspend action

Striking rail workers outside Heuston train station in Dublin on Tuesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Two 24-hour strikes in a week have caused huge disruption

Irish Rail staff are seen on a picket line outside Ceannt Station in Galway during Tuesday’s  24-hour rail strike. Photograph: PA

David Franks warns staff this dispute could damage the company and workers’ earnings

Members of the TUI and the ASTI picketing during a strike in 2014. Members of the INTO, the TUI and the ASTI have all rejected the public service pay accord. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Public servants outside pay deal face nine-month delay in salary increases

Trains sit idle on the platforms at Heuston Station, Dublin, during a second  one-day strike by Irish Rail train drivers over pay and conditions. Photograph: PA

Irish Rail warn CIÉ of the risk of a five-day strike which would cost it €1.5 million

 A deserted  Connolly Station with parked up trains  during the first of five 24-hour stoppages by Irish Rail workers on November 1st, 2017. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Tens of thousands face another day of disruption as rail staff to strike on Tuesday

Empty tracks and train platforms at the Navan Parkway station as a result of strike action by Iarnród Éireann over pay. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times.

Tens of thousands of passengers disrupted as staff at rail firm take action over pay

Minister for Health Simon Harris: was warned that tackling the spread of superbugs in hospitals could clash with plans to deal with overcrowding in emergency departments this winter. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Oversight group to discuss national response to CPE bacteria linked to deaths in Limerick

“This dispute could escalate beyond the five strike days already planned unless a serious attempt is made to engage meaningfully with unions.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Thousands of commuters affected by first of five days of stoppages over pay claim

“We are prohibited from trade union membership, affiliation to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions by extension and any form of industrial agitation”

Representative body argues lack of union rights puts it at disadvantage in pay talks

Broombridge station, near Cabra in Dublin. Iarnród Éireann wants to increase services on the Maynooth line to connect with the Luas cross-city service to the station. Photograph: Alan Betson

Union members to distribute leaflets to commuters day before first 24-hour strike

 Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and  Minister for Health Simon Harris at the official sod turning ceremony of the new national children’s hospital.  Photograph: RollingNews.ie

‘Phoenix Children’s Hospital Ireland’ echoes name of Arizona institute

HSE director general Tony O’Brien: the State depends on the voluntary sector for many services.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Tony O’Brien says HSE funds more than 2,200 State bodies or voluntary agencies

The HSE is seeking nearly €8m in additional funding to allow it to recruit about 80 key personnel such as microbiologists and laboratory staff to deal with the threat. File image: iStock

HSE urges Government to prioritise tackling antibiotic resistant bacteria called CPE

An Bord Pleanála said given the nature, height, scale, form and layout of the planned new hospital  the installation of life-safety sprinklers throughout the building was required.

Hospital development board had appealed the conditions for a fire safety certificate

An ASTI protest outside Leinster House in 2016. Photograph: Eric Luke

Two-tier pay the sticking point as ASTI joins dissenters, but strikes are unlikely for now

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