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
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.