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Galway Bay FM News Archives

One third of consultants break private patients rule

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Date Published: 26-May-2011

By Denise McNamara

One third of consultant doctors at University Hospital Galway (UHG) see more private inpatients than is permitted under the terms of their public services contracts, while one in four are treating too many private outpatients.

The figures from the Health Service Executive (HSE) are a major cause for concern given the numbers of patients forced to wait for treatment.

It emerged this week that 30,000 are on a waiting list for treatment across nine surgical specialities in UHG and Merlin Park hospitals.

The data is a further embarrassment for the medics, some of whom are being singled out for causing delays on making insurance claims.

The two hospitals have overspent by €12m in the first quarter of this year yet there is €6.5m owed for treating private patients – claims are being held up by the failure of the consultant to sign the claim form and send it into the insurers, according to HSE management.

The latest HealthStat report published by the HSE revealed that 35% of consultants working at UHG were treating a higher proportion of private inpatients than is allowed under their contracts, while 75% were treating too many private outpatients.

The consultants’ contracts, which were negotiated with the HSE in 2008, set strict limits on the numbers of private patients that can be treated by doctors working in public hospitals and provide for financial penalties where they fail to comply.However no such penalties have yet been recorded.

Fine Gael Deputy Brian Walsh said if the consultants were seeing more private patients than they were allowed to under the quota, they were seeing less public patients, which was causing ever-lengthening waiting lists.

He called on the HSE to pursue doctors who are not complying as a matter of urgency.

“There are mechanisms in place to ensure that consultant doctors comply with the terms of their contracts, such as the enforcement of financial penalties, but these are not being availed of by the HSE and the ones who are suffering as a result are public patients,” he said.

Read more in today’s Galway City Tribune

Galway Bay FM News Archives

Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent

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Date Published: 07-May-2013

A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.

That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.

The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.

Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.

Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis

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Date Published: 09-May-2013

Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.

A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.

Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.

Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.

Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.

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Galway Bay FM News Archives

Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action

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Date Published: 12-May-2013

The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.

There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.

Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.

Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.

Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.

The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.

However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.

Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.

 

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