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Connacht Tribune

Tackling the effect of stress

Judy Murphy



Dr Hussain Bhatti in his clinic in URBAN Wellbeing at the Tuam Road Retail Centre. Photo: Joe O'shaughnessy

Lifestyle – Dr Hussain Bhatti worked in conventional Western medicine until an injury in the 1980s led him in a new direction. Having experienced the benefits of complementary medicine, he went on to train in that field. He now specialises in treating stress and illnesses it causes, as he tells JUDY MURPHY.

When Dr Hussain Bhatti, a qualified and experienced medical doctor, decided in the 1980s, to start focusing on complementary medicine, many of his colleagues thought he was mad.

He wasn’t. Rather, the Galway-based doctor was streets ahead of his time. Since then, increasing numbers of people, including members of the medical profession, have become more aware of taking a holistic approach when it comes to tackling illness.

That’s central to Dr Bhatti’s philosophy and has been for more than 30 years.

“For me, it’s about treating the whole body,” he says simply.

Having a conventional medical background is “brilliant”, he says, “because I know about an illness and I know about body parts”.

Dr Bhatti trained as a GP in India and went on to earn further qualifications when he moved to Ireland.

Coming here “just happened” through a friend of his uncle who was training as an eye-surgeon in Dublin and loved Ireland.

“I never looked back. From day one I just loved this country.”

Dr Bhatti’s first job in Galway was in Merlin Park, in medicine. He also worked in surgery at the Regional (now UHG) and went on to do a post-grad in paediatrics with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. He continued to add to his qualifications, with psychiatry among his specialisations.

Dr Bhatti also worked in Portiuncula and St Brigid’’s Psychiatric Hospital in Ballinasloe and spent three years in charge of the Alcohol and Addiction Unit there in the late 1980s before changing direction.

He had previously been working in orthopaedics in Merlin when he developed back problems – and the chronic pain he endured marked the beginning of his journey to holistic medicine.

Dr Bhatti was treated by different consultants for the excruciating pain, but nothing helped. Then, while attending a wedding in the UK, “after taking a fist-full of Ponstan” painkillers, he met an English GP who suggested he try an alternative approach.

Acupuncture was what he turned to and after three sessions, the effect “was like a miracle”.

Until then, Dr Bhatti had been sceptical about acupuncture. “I thought it was a piseóg,” he says honestly. “But after that experience, I decided to look into it.

“I had trained in India and I would always have been a believer in Western medicine until I hurt my back. But Western medicine didn’t have the answers to my back problems.”

Later, he realised that there was more to illness than just the physical element.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands




Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email:

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry




Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara



The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at

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