Consultants call for adjustments to be made to allow for a full systemic review into spinal surgeries

By dara
Saturday, 30th September 2023
Filed under: News, PressReleases, 2023

IHCA Annual Conference to highlight how unacceptable waiting lists and vacant Consultant posts are symptoms of a broken system

5686 Prof Rob LandersThe 35th Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) conference will hear calls today (30 September 2023) for the external review into spinal surgeries to be systemic in nature. 

The IHCA, which represents over 95% of hospital Consultants in Ireland, will see its members gather today in Dublin for their annual conference. Sinn Féin leader Mary-Lou McDonald, TD and Labour Leader Ivana Bacik, TD will be among those addressing members. 

Consultants say that the external review being commissioned is of utmost importance, first and foremost for the patients concerned, but also for any patient, child or adult, who is on a waiting list to have surgery in Ireland. 

For too long now, Consultants have been urging the Government to implement measures aimed at cutting wating lists and filling the over 900 vacant consultant posts. Funding of €4 billion must be allocated in Budget 2024 to build and open essential additional hospital beds, theatres, diagnostics, and other facilities already announced by the Minister for Health. 

In terms of the external review, the IHCA say justifiable concerns have been raised regarding both the terms of reference and who the review is ultimately reporting to and that it is not too late to allay these concerns. 

IHCA President, Prof Rob Landers says the Taoiseach and Minister need to take firm control and make the necessary adjustments to ensure the external review is systemic in nature, with the authority to see any documentation and evidence available. It cannot in effect be allowed to report to itself, Professor Landers will say. 

“Scoliosis patients and their families who, for decades have had to battle the system find themselves having to do so again. 

“The battle many have to go through in healthcare is real. For hospital consultants, it’s a battle for theatre time, facilities and basic equipment. A battle with antiquated systems. A battle against the impacts of later patient presentations leading to increased complexity and often a battle to be heard. 

“It is fundamental that this review is systemic in nature because what it concludes and ultimately recommends will influence how all hospitals approach complex surgeries, innovation, risk evaluation and resourcing into the future.

“The cultural and governing environment in which healthcare professionals’ function is critical to patient outcomes. When we are dealing with serious, highly complex surgery, it matters even more.”


Notes to editor 
The 35th Irish Hospital Consultants Association (IHCA) conference will take place today at the Radisson Blu, St Helen’s in Stillorgan, Dublin.

Sessions With Media Interest (speakers subject to final confirmation) 

9:45am – 11:15am: Public Hospital Capacity Development Requirements and Plans

Panel Discussion and Q&A moderated by Dearbhail McDonald Journalist, Broadcaster and Author.  

  • Prof Robert Landers: IHCA President, Consultant Pathologist, Waterford University Hospital. 
  • Mr Michael Dowling: CEO and President, Northwell Health, New York.
  • Mary Lou McDonald TD:  Leader, Sinn Féin
  • Ivana Bacik TD: Leader, Labour Party

11:30am – 12:30pm: Medical Practice Challenges and Development. Panel Discussion and Q&A moderated by Dearbhail McDonald Journalist, Broadcaster and Author.

  • Dr Elaine Lockhart: Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Adolescent Faculty: Effective Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
  • Dr Graham Billingham: Medical Director, Medpro group: Challenges and Opportunities: Artificial Intelligence, Advance Practice Providers, US Malpractice Claims Trends. 

2pm- 3:30pm: Quality Service Provision and Digital Transformation. Panel Discussion and Q&A moderated by Dearbhail McDonald Journalist, Broadcaster and Author.

  • Prof Deirdre Madden: Professor of Law, UCC, Recent Legislative Developments in Patient Safety
  • Prof Martin Curley: Professor of Innovation: Professor of Innovation, Maynooth University: Hospital Digital Transformation Problems and Solutions. 

For Media Enquiries, Contact: 
Niamh Kinsella | | (087) 921 9711


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