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Health Apr 2017

Published: Apr 18, 2017
  • Allergan are to invest €42m in their facilities in Dublin and Mayo to support increased manufacturing.  Allergan have been in Ireland since 1977.
  • It is hoped a potential cure for pancreatic cancer will be found within 4 years.  Researchers are expected to look for people with super-immune systems who can readily fight off cancer cells.  The plan would be to use cell therapy whereby white cells from these humans to create the potential cure.  Current research with a ‘supermouse’ provided astonishing results.
  • Significant numbers of surgeries for cancer patients are being cancelled according to the Irish Hospital Consultants Association as hospitals cannot cope with the lack of beds and lack of staff.  Dr Tom Ryan of the IHCA has said that ‘patient care and safety is compromised’.  One-in-Five hospital consultants are over 55 meaning they will retire in the near-future.
  • New research show that hospitals are carrying out less than half of the surgeries & procedures carried out 4 years ago.  It covers all specialities.  In January 2012 there were 15,374 operations carried out from waiting lists but in January 2016 this had decreased significantly to only 6,743.  Lack of beds and staff was again cited as the main cause.
  • Boston Scientific have had to recall their Irish made heart devices made at their Galway plant, which resulted in shares plunging 7.3% at Feb end.  The problem affected just the Lotus range of heart devices and the error was pinpointed and remedied. 
  • Almost 4 in 10 men who need assessment for potential prostate cancer are not been seen to in the 20-day deadline set by the HSE.  Just 65.1% are having their tests done in the required time.  With women suspected of breast cancer, just 78.1% are being seen within 2 weeks despite a target of 95%.   With regards to the prostate issue, the HSE cited a 74% increase in return patients using the service as the factor for the delay. 
  • Minister for Health Simon Harris has made a submission to the Oireachtas outlining an 8-point plan for the future of the HSE.  The plan includes more decision-making and more accountability to the hospital groups and community health organisation.  Decision-making will now be brought “closer to the point of care and deliver a counter-weight to the over-centralisation of decision-making and accountability which impedes service responsiveness” according to Mr Harris.  

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