Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Oireachtas News 8th April 2013
The Dáil has been adjourned until Tuesday, April 16 2013. The Seanad has been adjourned until Wednesday, April 17 2013.

Appointment to the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland
The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, has called for expressions of interest for the Council of Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI).  This initiative is an effort to widen the opportunity for board membership of State Bodies.   Chosen council members will be appointed member to the Council of Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) after May 25 2013 when the term of office of 5 Council members (non pharmacist) appointed by the Minister under Section 10(3) (d) and (e) of the Pharmacy Act 2007 will be terminated.

Those interested should register an Expression of Interest through the Public Appointments Service at www.publicjobs.ie no later than Thursday April 18 2013.  Potential candidates cannot be or ever have been registered as a pharmacist, pharmaceutical chemist, dispensing chemist and druggist either in Ireland or any other country.  The PSI is an independent statutory body, established by the Pharmacy Act 2007.  It is charged with the effective regulation of pharmacy services in Ireland, including responsibility for supervising compliance with the Act.

1,300 on overcrowded wards in 4 weeks
The INMO have initiated the monitoring of overcrowding in wards at Irish hospitals The new initiative, Ward Watch, has noted that every day over the last month, an average of 79 patients have been placed in ‘overcrowded environments on inpatient wards in hospitals across the country'.
Ward Watch counts the number of additional patients on beds, trolleys or chairs in inpatient wards nationwide if those patients exceed the stated compliment of that ward. This initiative in addition to the INMO's long standing Trolley Watch, which shows how many patients are waiting on trolleys in emergency departments (EDs) at the beginning of each day will provide a ‘new combined overall measure of hospital overcrowding'.
The INMO are launching this measure due to continual feedback from nurses and midwives that patients were being placed in inappropriate environments. This, they said, increased the risk of cross infection and therefore compromised patient care. It also leads to a loss of privacy and dignity for patients.
The INMO has been compiling these figures for some weeks now and found that in the four weeks since March 11, a total of 1,347 patients were placed on beds and trolleys in already full inpatient wards.

Poor air quality kills thousands annually
An Taisce claim , that As many as 3,400 people die prematurely every year in Ireland as a result of poor air quality and have identified traffic is the ‘main culprit' and Ireland must work harder to reduce pollutants from diesel motor vehicles.

High levels of air pollution lead to high levels of respiratory conditions, such as asthma and bronchitis. This problem also takes a big financial toll on the country, with poor air quality costing the economy around €6.3 billion every year through direct healthcare costs and absenteeism from work and education. An Taisce has written to the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly, and the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, asking them to work to try to reform EU laws on air pollution.  An Taisce have noted that this is not just a problem in Ireland but is Europe-wide, with some 420,000 premature deaths can be blamed on poor air quality, costing around €790 billion annually.

An Taisce have called on Ministers Reilly and Hogan to use Ireland's EU presidency to attempt to deliver better air quality in Europe.  The organisation noted that while progress has been made in Ireland, the country is still in breach of EU laws relating to traffic-induced nitrogen oxides, which are thought to contribute to the development of respiratory conditions.

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