Blog Archives

Tallaght Hospital scandal: No need for accountability


Public Inquiry · Examining corruption in Ireland

I wrote recently about the missing link that marks the difference between how things are done in Ireland and how they’re done in functional democracies.

When suspicions of corruption are raised in functional jurisdictions there usually follows an investigation by an independent authority.

If the suspicions are confirmed consequences follow such as sackings, heavy fines or perhaps a trial followed by appropriate punishment.

All this is done under the principle of justice being seen to be done and the whole matter is usually followed up with new rules/regulations to prevent such events from happening again.

All these stages of accountability are also carried out in Ireland with the notable exception of holding anybody to account.

The recent scandal at Tallaght Hospital, as reported in the Irish Examiner, is a great example.

Background:

The hospital is unable to explain why five senior officials received almost €700,000 in non-salary ‘top-up’ fees between 2005 and 2010.

Ernst and Young carried out a financial investigation last year as a result of concerns raised by the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA).

The investigation found:

The hospital was unable to provide any documents showing why the large payments were made.

The hospital was unable to explain why the supplementary payroll, under which the payments were made, was set up or what approval procedures were followed.

Board members at the time provided inconsistent recollections as to the existence and approval of the fund.

One individual received €225,833 in extra pay. Four other staff members received €104.667, €61,250, €24,000 and 259.000 respectively.

This was all taxpayer’s money at a time when Tallaght Hospital was making severe cutbacks to its budget.

We have now reached the critical point where, in a functional democracy, stronger action would ensue – police investigation, courts etc.

In Ireland this stage is skipped completely and replaced by an excuse stage.

Significant management structure changes have been carried out at the hospital – we’re told.

The new management has ‘noted’ the findings of the investigation.

The external payroll system responsible for the payouts has been abolished.

The new board has appointed a new remuneration and terms of services committee.

The new board said they were disturbed and upset by what happened.

So, no further action, no police, no investigation, no courts.

And, we can ask, is the new board a genuine improvement on its predecessor. Will this ‘new broom’ sweep all the old habits away and act in a professional and responsible manner when it comes to accountability?

No, is the emphatic answer.

When asked if the five members at the centre of the scandal were still working at the hospital and whether any of the paid out money can be retrieved they declined to comment.

Or, in plain English – Take a hike, we’re saying nothing.

The only reason, I suspect, the board of Tallaght Hospital can feel confident in refusing to answer this most basic of questions is because of the missing link in Irish accountability.

It there’s no system of accountability – there’s no need to be accountable.

via Public Inquiry · Examining corruption in Ireland.

via Public Inquiry · Examining corruption in Ireland.

Working conditions in hospitals are so bad that sometimes I get no sleep at all


Tallaght-Hospital-protest-525-390x285

I WOULDN’T SAY there’s been a single week since I’ve started working about a year and a half ago in the hospital that I’ve only had to work 48 hours a week – as the 2004 EU Working Time Directive instructs.

It can be anything up to over 100 hours a week. There was a couple of hours where I was working over Christmas where I was on call three times a week and you’d have to work the next day post-call as well.

Generally you wouldn’t get any sleep, or you might get one or two hours. You could end up working anything up to 36 hours in a row.

Thirty-six hours would be a record. But once a week you’d generally have to work 32 hours in a row.

It’s a killer. Adrenaline tends to get you through the first 20 hours. You start to feel the burn at around 4am. You focus then on the ward for a few hours, you make your way through it, you’re generally okay that night, but then the next day is really exhausting.

Is this government committed to media diversity?

 

via Column: Working conditions in hospitals are so bad that sometimes I get no sleep at all.

via Column: Working conditions in hospitals are so bad that sometimes I get no sleep at all.

Irish start-up company develops ‘groundbreaking’ cancer treatment


AN IRISH MEDICAL device company, MitaMed, has developed a groundbreaking treatment for gastrointestinal and lung cancers.

It said that treatment of patients with colorectal cancer has just commenced in an Irish Medicines Board-approved clinical trial in Cork and Dublin hospitals, under the supervision of Dr Deirdre McNamara, Tallaght Hospital (AMNCH).

MitaMed has also established strategic partnerships with five specialist Cancer Centre of Excellence hospitals in Europe, including Trinity Health (Tallaght/ St James), Mercy Hospital, Cork, and hospitals in the UK and Sweden.

Chief Executive Officer of Mitamed, Michael Loftus, has also announced the commencement of an investment process to raise €3 million to support the development, regulatory approval and commercial sales of their therapy.

He said:

With projected sales of €14 million in five years, MitaMed is on track to successfully deliver a new standard of care for cancer patients, with better outcomes and reduced financial burden.

Approach

MitaMed’s cancer treatment involves delivering brief electric pulses directly to the tumour tissue. It says this causes the cancer cells within the electric field to become temporarily permeable and enables subsequent drug absorption.

This phenomenon is known as electroporation and allows for the targeted absorption of a smaller dose of chemotherapy drugs into cancer cells without compromising surrounding healthy tissue structures.

The company noted:

As the electroporation procedure can be performed in a matter of minutes, the treatment can be conducted rapidly on an outpatient basis. A patient may require between 1 to 3 treatments over a period of a few months.

UCC leveraged over €2 million of Irish state research funding between 2006 and 2011 to support the development of the technology at the Cork Cancer Research Centre, under the leadership of Dr Declan Soden. UCC Technology Transfer Office was also involved in the project.

MitaMed has recently been named the Munster regional area winner of the high growth category in the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition. The final will take place on 28 November

via Irish start-up company develops ‘groundbreaking’ cancer treatment.

via Irish start-up company develops ‘groundbreaking’ cancer treatment.

Actor says he stole groceries to avoid telling his children there was no food –


AN ACTOR who pleaded guilty in court to stealing groceries said he did it because telling his three children that there was no bread and milk “was a step too far”.

Joe Purcell (57) of Donomore Park in Tallaght, Dublin, said a mix-up with children’s allowances meant the payment was stopped for a short time last August.

“That’s why we were left with no money and nothing in the fridge,” Purcell told The Irish Times yesterday.

“For myself I can deal with it, but for the three kids it was different. I couldn’t let them ask for a glass of milk in the morning and not get any,” he said.

The actor, his wife and three children, aged nine, 12 and 16, is living on social welfare payments and the small earnings from on and off acting work .

He did decorating work on his return from the UK five years ago but this dried up. Acting work included a part in Pygmalion at the Abbey Theatre last year.

Last Thursday he pleaded guilty at Tallaght District Court to stealing €58 worth of groceries from two shops in Firhouse last August 6th. Judge Anthony Halpin ordered him to complete 100 hours of community service.

Judge Halpin told the court that middle-class people unable to buy food for their children was a new type of poor that had emerged from the recession.

However the judge said there were “green shoots”.” He described the recent appearance of Taoiseach Enda Kenny on the front page of Time magazine as a “great launch for this country to show that we are pulling ourselves up by our boot straps”.

Yesterday Purcell said he had originally decided to ask for some credit in local shops on August 6th but was refused. “I had no money. I had to get bread and milk, simple things,” he said. Purcell said the manager caught him getting into his car outside the second shop.

“I said I don’t do this all the time, I’m not a thief, but the manager said, ‘You are a thief,’” Purcell explained. He felt there was “a difference between stealing a million dollars or mugging an old lady and stealing a loaf of bread”.

He was ashamed at first but is no longer ashamed. “What man wouldn’t, if your children are hungry? It’s basic instinct,” he said. His family manages to live on the social welfare payments but was always to the pin of its collar, he said. He and his wife have given up smoking and no longer have a drink once a week.

He hopes he can get more acting work to help.

“This Monday morning we had €10 left until Thursday and we will stretch that, no matter what happens,” he sai

via Actor says he stole groceries to avoid telling his children there was no food – The Irish Times – Wed, Oct 17, 2012.

via Actor says he stole groceries to avoid telling his children there was no food – The Irish Times – Wed, Oct 17, 2012.

Unemployed will have to sign contract to get dole payment


UNEMPLOYED people will have to sign a “contract” before they can get their dole payments in a radical shake-up of the social welfare system.

It is the first time that people seeking jobseekers payments will have to undergo such a process.

Previously it was a matter of supplying basic personal details such as name, age and PPS number to get a payment.

Under the “social contract”, they will have to co-operate with social welfare staff to develop a “Personal Progression Plan” to help them secure training or employment.

They will also have to attend all scheduled meetings and provide all the requested information about their job history and education level.

Social Protection Minister Joan Burton’s department said that people who fail to live up to their commitments under the contract will have their payments reduced and ultimately cut off.

The new system for helping unemployed people is designed to improve the training and job opportunities available to them. Rather than being left to drift into long term unemployment, they will be expected under their contract to engage with social welfare staff to improve their chances of getting a job.

The new system, known as Intreo, is in place in just four of the state’s social welfare offices at the moment – Sligo town, Parnell Street in Dublin, the Square in Tallaght and Arklow in Wicklow.

It is due to be rolled out in all social welfare offices by 2014.

via Unemployed will have to sign contract to get dole payment – National News – Independent.ie.

via Unemployed will have to sign contract to get dole payment – National News – Independent.ie.

Editorial comment

Maybe this is just another way  to message the figures .

It also raises the question of how legal is a one sided contract?

MovieBabble

The Casual Way to Discuss Movies

OLD HOLLYWOOD IN COLOR

...because it was never black & white

LEANNE COLE

Art and Practice

CURNBLOG

Movies, thoughts, thoughts about movies.

FilmBunker

Saving you from one cinematic disaster at a time.

From 1 Blogger 2 Another

Sharing Great Blog Posts

Wonders in the Dark

Cinema, music, opera, books, television, theater

Just Reviews

Just another WordPress.com site

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

conradbrunstrom

Things I never thunk before.

News from the San Diego Becks

The life and times of Erik, Veronica and Thomas

The Silent Film Quarterly

The Only Magazine Dedicated To Silent Cinema

Leaden Circles

First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.

My Archives

because the internet is not forever

CineSocialUK

Up to the minute, fair, balanced, informed film reviews.

PUZZLED PAGAN PRESENTS

A Shrine to Pop Culture Obsessiveness. With Lots of Spoilers

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be” – Peter DeVries

thedullwoodexperiment

Viewing movies in a different light

Twenty Four Frames

Notes on Film by John Greco

Suzanne's Mom's Blog

Arts, Nature, Family, Good Works, Luna & Stella Birthstone Jewelry

It Doesn't Have To Be Right...

... it just has to sound plausible

NJ Corporate Portrait Photographer Blog

The life of a corporate portrait photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

arwenaragornstar

A French girl's musings...

Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)

Australian movie blog - like Margaret and David, just a little younger

Octopus Films

A place for new perspectives on films, TV, media and entertainment.

scifist 2.0

A sci-fi movie history in reviews

The Reviewer's Corner

The Sometimes Serious Corner of the Internet for Anime, Manga, and Comic Reviews

First Impressions

Notes on Films and Culture

1,001 Movies Reviewed Before You Die

Where I Review One of the 1,001 Movies You Should Watch Before you Die Every Day

Movies Galore of Milwaukee

Movie Galore takes a look at Silent films on up to current in development projects and gives their own opinion on what really does happen in film!

The Catwing Has Landed

A Writer's Blog About Life and Random Things

mibih.wordpress.com/

Anime - Movies - Wrestling

Gabriel Diego Valdez

Movies and how they change you.

The Horror Incorporated Project

Lurking among the corpses are the body snatchers....plotting their next venture into the graveyard....the blood in your veins will run cold, your spine tingle, as you look into the terror of death in tonight's feature....come along with me into the chamber of horrors, for an excursion through.... Horror Incorporated!

Relatos desde mi ventana

Sentimientos, emociones y reflexiones

Teri again

Finding Me; A site about my life before and after a divorce

unveiled rhythms

Life In Verses

Gareth Roberts

Unorthodox Marketing & Strategy

leeg schrift

Taalarmen

100 Films in a Year

12 months. 100 films. Hopefully.

%d bloggers like this: