Three new hospitals to be built for waiting list patients only

Dublin, Cork and Galway will be home to the three new hospitals being built to treat waiting list patients.

The Department of Health have today announced that a further 3 new hospitals are to be built in Dublin, Cork and Galway to treat waiting list patients. The hospitals will be part of the Government’s €3.69 billion Sláintecare plan.

The focus now for the Department of Health is to seek submissions from owners of sites that could accommodate the hospitals.

Sláintecare is a ten year programme which aims to transform the Irish health service. It’s roadmap aims to build a world-class health and social care service for the Irish people. The Sláintecare vision is to achieve a universal single-tier health and social care system where everyone has equal access to services based on need, and not ability to pay.

Waiting lists in the Irish healthcare service has long been an problem but under the Sláintecare action plan released today, plans are in place to reduce waiting lists within hospitals and the community. The plan also aims to hire a further 7,000 new community-based healthcare staff.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said “I am delighted that Government has approved the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy & Action Plan 2021-2023 today.”

“This represents the next stage in an exciting and ambitious programme for reform of the health system. I believe Sláintecare is delivering much-needed health reform, and that now is the time to accelerate this.”

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan returns to work

The State’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan has returned to work this week.

Dr Holohan’s wife Dr Emer Feely passed away in February after a long battle with a terminal form of blood cancer.

Dr Holohan returned to work on Monday but it has only being revealed today by the Department of Health that he has resumed his duties.

Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer became a well-known figure during the first wave of Covid-19 when he delivered the daily briefings held at the Department of Health. Dr. Ronan Glynn became the acting CMO following Dr. Holohan announcement in early July that he was going on leave to help take care of his wife as she entered palliative care.

Dr Holohan then returned to his role in October before going on leave again following the death of his wife. Dr Glynn once again returned as acting CMO in the interim.

The return of the State’s CMO coincides with a reduction in the number of daily Covid-19 cases and people in hospital with the virus. There is a big review of easing of restrictions to take place in the coming weeks.

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10 Million extra Pfizer vaccines to be delivered to the EU in Q2

10 million Pfizer vaccines that were originally planned for the second half of the year will now be arriving in quarter 2. Ireland is set to receive approximately 110,000 of those doses.

Some welcome news this morning with the EU confirming that Pfizer are accelerating the delivery of 10 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for quarter 2 of this year.

In a statement from the EU, the President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen said “I know how critical Quarter 2 is for the roll-out of our vaccination strategies in the Member States. These accelerated 10 million doses will bring the total doses of BioNTech-Pfizer in Quarter 2 up to over 200 million.”

“This is very good news. It gives Member States room to manoeuvre and possibly fill gaps in deliveries.”

Ireland is set to receive around 110,000 of the 10 million extra doses that the EU has secured which will no doubt come as a welcome surprise to those in charge of the vaccine rollout.

Speaking to the Irish Independent over the weekend, Professor Brian MacCraith who chairs the Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force gave these figures in terms of the vaccine rollout:

  • Ireland expects to get delivery shipment of 175,000 to 200,000 Covid-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – around March 31.
  • The shipment will be followed up by more big deliveries that will “ramp up” through April, May and June, delivering an average of 1m doses every month.
  • Three million adults are to be offered a first shot of vaccine by the end of June which is around 80% of the adult population of 3.75m in the Republic of Ireland.

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Stripe to create over 1000 new jobs in Ireland after $600 million investment

The online payments giant, founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison is now valued at $95 billion after it secured an additional $600 million (€502 million) in investment.

The Irish State’s sovereign wealth fund called the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) was among the investors in Stripe. The investment fund is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

Speaking after announcing the creation of over 1000 new jobs in Ireland, Stripe’s president John Collison said “We’re investing a ton more in Europe this year, particularly in Ireland”

“Ireland is now a leading tech capital of Europe, with great talent and companies emerging all the time, we’re keen to help cement that position.”

Stripe currently employs over 300 staff in it’s Dublin office which also acts as its international headquarters. Globally, they have over 3,000 staff across 14 different offices.

Commenting on the announcement of the new jobs Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said “This is fantastic news on the jobs front and the start of a really welcome partnership between the Irish state and Stripe,”

“Over 1,000 new jobs will be created over the next 5 years. These are really good, well-paid, professional jobs and will be a real boost to the economy.”

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