08/08/2019

Other News In Brief

Ministers Urged To Ensure SouthDoc Can Recruit Doctors

The Minister for Health has been urged to work with the Minister for Justice to ensure that SouthDoc can recruit doctors.

Making the call, Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, said that as it stands the ability to hire non-EEA doctors is being hampered by the current work permit scheme problems.

Deputy Murphy O'Mahony also called on the Minster for Health to engage with SouthDoc on their request for additional funding to maintain its level of service.

She said: "There are glaring anomalies with the current work permit scheme for non-EEA doctors. The current work permit scheme, overseen by the Department of Justice, allows overseas GPs who are registered with the Medical Council to enter the country for 90 days.

"Once the 90 days have expired, the GP must leave and cannot apply for a new permit until after a 30 day "cooling off" period. It can take up to 30 days to process the new permit, meaning the GP cannot work for 60 days – it makes no sense.

"You would think the country was awash with medical professionals, not in the midst of a severe doctor shortage, given the lethargic response from Government to make the process more streamlined.

"SouthDoc services cannot be diminished in any way, the people of Cork South West depend on the clinics and Minster must intervene to secure the future of the service," she concluded.

Minister For Agriculture Urged To Meet With Beef Plan Movement

The Beef Plan Movement needs to meet the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, to help end the current beef protests, Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan, has said.

Senator Feighan, said: "It is crystal clear that we need engagement with all stakeholders to overcome the current impasse.

"A round table discussion regarding the current market difficulties involving all stakeholders including Minister Creed, farm organisations, representatives of the beef processing sector, Meat Industry Ireland, the Department and its agencies needs to happen as soon as possible."

Dublin Council Offsets Staff Flights

Dublin City Council has become the first Local Authority in Ireland to offset staff flights to make them carbon neutral.

Since 2017 the Council has been working with Vita, an Irish overseas development agency providing African families with efficient stoves, solar lighting and clean water programmes to help them create food and energy. These programmes reduce carbon emissions by over 60% and create saleable carbon credits, which Vita then sells on to organisations like Dublin City Council. Although there is no obligation on Local Authorities to offset their carbon footprint, the Council said it has chosen to do this in order to lead by example.

In partnership with Vita's Green Impact Fund, the Council has offset the carbon associated with its business flights, which amounted to 119 tonnes of CO2 in 2017. This initiative will continue on an annual basis.

Speaking about the initiative Celine Reilly, Executive Manager, Environment & Transportation Department said: "Dublin City Council has chosen to lead by example in this initiative, to offset staff flights and make them carbon neutral. With the introduction of our recently adopted Climate Change Action Plan 2019-2024 the Council will continue to strive to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by 40%. This voluntary initiative with Vita, is a way in which Local Authorities can help people living in areas where climate change directly threatens their livelihood."



(MH/JG)


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