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IHCA announces new President

17 Jun 2016

Pictured L to R are the outgoing IHCA President Dr Gerard Crotty with the incoming President Dr Tom Ryan, Consultant in Intensive Care and Anaesthesia, SJH, and newly elected Vice President, Dr Roy Browne, Consultant Psychiatrist, Phoenix Care Centre

The IHCA has announced that Dr Tom Ryan, Consultant in Intensive Care and Anesthesia at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, was elected President of the Association at the June IHCA National Council meeting.

Dr Ryan – who takes over the Presidency from Dr Gerard Crotty, who has completed his two-year term – will be joined by two new Vice Presidential appointments, in Dr Oisín O’Connell, Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Mater Hospital, and Dr Roy Browne, Consultant Psychiatrist, Phoenix Care Centre.

Speaking after his announcement, Dr Ryan highlighted as concerns the “critical lack” of physical capacity and other resource constraints in the health service, which had been compounded by a “damaging medical brain drain” in recent years.

The newly appointed IHCA President said that consultants, who attempted to deliver safe care for their patients, were continuously aware of the mismatch between the available physical and human resources and the actual needs of their patients. “The urgency for investment cannot be overstated in view of the inexorable increase in demand for acute medical care. Investment must be accompanied by improved clinical governance to ensure that new investment improves quality of care and patient safety,” he said.

As a Consultant in Intensive Care, he said he was also very concerned that the lack of intensive care unit (ICU) beds was putting patients’ lives at risk. “The reduction in ICU beds in recent years contrasts sharply with the recommendations of the HSE commissioned Prospectus Report. Prospectus recommended in 2009 that the number of ICU beds increase by 45 per cent immediately and double by 2020. These recommendations have not been acted upon.”

In the past decade, he added, a total of 1,500 acute hospital beds had closed. “The unacceptable consequences of the resultant inadequate capacity is that hundreds of patients are being treated on trolleys every day: 75,000 patients were awaiting essential surgery at the end of May and the cancellation of surgical appointments is a regular occurrence because of the shortage of acute hospital beds.”

The IHCA President added that there was a real opportunity for the State and Minister for Health Simon Harris to “end the discrimination against new entrant consultants” and honour the 2008 Consultant Contract – actions that were necessary, in his view, to restore trust and Ireland’s international competitiveness in recruiting consultants.

Dr Ryan began his training in Ireland, followed by sub-specialty training at the University of Washington in the US. He undertook additional Intensive Care and Anesthesia training at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and was a consultant in the Cleveland Clinic, before returning to Ireland to his position in St James’s Hospital.



Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times