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
Retail industry trade body welcomes B&Q announcement
Date Published: 07-May-2013
Retail Excellence Ireland, the country’s largest retail industry trade body, has welcomed the news that 60 jobs have been saved at the city branch of B&Q.
It’s after the home improvements store successfully exited examinership.
Under the scheme, 2.4 million euro is to be invested by parent company Kingfisher plc, and B and Q will continue to trade at eight stores
This means 640 jobs have been saved nationwide, including 60 at the outlet in Knocknacarra.
However, David Fitzsimons of Retail Excellence Ireland says landlords need to be willing to help out smaller retailers too.
Foundation reports nine Galway heart deaths each week
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Nine people die in Galway every week from heart disease and stroke.
That’s according to the Irish Heart Foundation, which is launching its Happy Hearts Appeal today. (9/5)
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, launched the appeal today to help raise funds for the charity, which has seen increasing demand on its patient services.
The Foundation says it needs to raise at least half a million euro to maintain existing information services.
Call to tackle delays at Oranmore rail crossing
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Concerns have been raised over traffic delays at the railway crossing in Oranmore.
Councillor Jim Cuddy says he has received many representations from local motorists who have been experiencing extended delays.
He says the closed barrier can sometimes cause a traffic tailback as far as the roundabout near the Maldron hotel.
Cllr Cuddy has brought the matter to the attention of Iarnrod Eireann and has asked for an explanation as to why the crossing is closed for so long.