You can use your existing Medical Independent, MediLearning or PharmacistCPD account to log in. is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

The benefits of registering: only registered users:
  • receive the ecCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • have automatic access to our free CPD sites.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.

Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

Download the new Mindo app for both IOS & Android.

  • Get notified when a story goes live
  • Access Premium Content
  • Read Offline
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public"]

You are reading 1 of 2 free-access articles allowed for 30 days

Covid-19 highlights need for more medical scientists in hospitals  

By Dermot - 23rd Jul 2020 | 8 views

There is an urgent need for more medical scientists working in hospitals as all laboratories face serious recruitment and retention challenges.

There is also a need to progress a long-awaited single Laboratory Information System and National Individual Health Identifier, according to the President of the Academy of Clinical Science and Laboratory Medicine Dr Brigid Lucey.

Speaking at the Academy’s AGM today, Dr Lucey highlighted the need to invest in medical scientists and hospital laboratory infrastructure.

“Laboratories are constantly fire-fighting and the demands of Covid-19 demonstrated the lack of investment. The pandemic shows that the required expertise is available in medical scientists, but capacity and infrastructure are sadly lacking. Laboratories account for 5 per cent of the hospital budget, yet laboratory results inform 70 per cent of clinical decisions.

“Medical scientists must be part of an immediate planning process with the HSE and should have a formal link and access to the national public health emergency team (NPHET). They understand the entire testing pathway and the need for quality management across the continuum of patient care.”

The calls were also made as part of a joint submission to the Oireachtas special committee on Covid-19 by the Academy and the Medical Laboratory Scientists Association.

The Association’s General Secretary Mr Terry Casey supported the position: “The pandemic has demonstrated how much Ireland requires the expertise of medical scientists to respond quickly to public health issues. There are serious staffing shortages and retention challenges across all Irish hospital laboratories. Ireland lags well behind our European counterparts in terms of relative numbers of medical scientists.

“The Government, Department of Health, HSE and NPHET have spoken throughout the pandemic of the importance of testing and being led by science. It is now time to review and plan Irish laboratory services for ongoing Covid-19 testing, for a probable second wave and for the demands of routine and emergency hospital laboratory activities,” he said.

Dr Lucey also said that the lack of IT connectivity in terms of laboratory diagnostics must be addressed. 

“Ireland needs investment in health system IT connectivity to fast-track ordering of tests, return of results and integrated patient care. Delivery of a long-awaited single laboratory information system is key to improved co-ordination of testing, integration of patient care and collation of statistical and epidemiological information.

“Never has the need for an integrated IT system been more evident than during the current pandemic. Results were recorded on different systems throughout the country, making collation of data extremely difficult. Covid-19 patients presenting to hospital having been tested in the community needed to be tested again because clinicians in hospitals had no access to their results. Also, GPs had no way of tracking samples through the testing system.

“Laboratory systems need to integrate to provide a full patient history to all clinicians and a link between primary care and the acute hospital settings, both public and private. The Sláintecare Health Strategy recognises these developments as necessary.

“These systems should be accompanied with an Individual Health Identifier for all citizens eliminating duplication of testing, analysis and reporting,” she said.

There are approximately 2,500 medical scientists employed in Ireland in public hospital laboratories and private hospitals.

Leave a Reply

[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent – 24 June 2021

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

[the_ad_placement id="main-mpu-public"]
Most Read
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]