News, Actions and Initiatives

Irish Academy of Medical Sciences meeting to initiate actions to address the crisis in medical staffing in Irish Healthcare.

As you are aware there is an obvious and increasing crisis in the availability and retention of medical staff in Irish healthcare.  In that context, the Irish Academy of Medical Sciences is undertaking a series of activities to ensure that the necessary urgency is given to addressing what is one of the most significant challenges facing the health service.

A major focus of these activities will be the identification of actions and initiatives to create an environment which will ensure that a resolution of this crisis is successfully achieved.

The initial step will be organisation of a major meeting which will involve representation from all who are impacted upon by the lack of medical resources. The meeting  will take place on

Wednesday 8th March 2017 at 19.00, in the Cheyne Theatre, Royal College of Surgeons, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2.

The meeting will consist of formal presentations to be followed with a moderated open forum to provide for interaction, participation and input for all attending.

Topics to be included in the formal presentations will include:

  • Reports on the current situation within clinical service provision and the impact of the lack of clinical resources
  • Reviews of previous proposals to address these problems
  • Reviews of implementation of these proposals
  • Identification of  issues and areas which inhibit a  resolution of the crisis
  • Necessary actions to eliminate or minimise the inhibitors of a successful resolution of the crisis

Speakers providing formal presentations are:

Professor  Brian MacCraith, President DCU, Chairperson of Strategic review of medical training and career structure

Professor Eilis McGovern, National Programme Director for Medical Education, Medical

Education and Training Unit, HSE

Professor Ruairi Brugha, Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Medicine, RCSI

Dr Ciara Gough, NCHD, Specialist registrar, Pulmonary medicine, Beaumont hospital

Professor Noel G McElvaney, President of Irish Academy of Medical Sciences, Professor of Medicine RCSI

It is intended that the deliberations and the outcomes from the meeting, in addition to providing input to support the Academy’s actions in addressing this crisis, will also be widely disseminated.








Annual Scientific Symposium 2015

The Irish Academy of Medical Sciences’ Annual Scientific Symposium will take place on Tuesday 1st December 2015 in the Albert Lecture Theatre, RCSI, St. Stephens’s Green, Dublin 2.

The theme for this year’s Symposium is

“Ireland as a world class centre of excellence for clinical research – Opportunities, issues and challenges”

Morning Session  (09.00 -12.50) The environment for clinical research in the context of the current and planned governance, strategy, management and delivery of Irish healthcare.

Afternoon Session (13.45 – 15.45) Enabling the optimum environment  for  clinical research in Ireland

See below for complete speaker schedule

The Symposium is complimentary and as spaces are limited,   pre-registration is strongly recommended.

You can pre-register by  e mailing your name, work address, contact telephone number and e mail address  to


09.00 – 09.10:  Welcome – Professor Noel G. McElvaney, President, Irish Academy of Medical Sciences

09.10 – 09.35:   Mr. Dermot Mulligan, Assistant Secretary for Innovation and Investment,   Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation

09.35 – 10.00:   Dr. Graham Love, Chief Executive, Health Research Board

10.00 – 10.25:   Dr. Rebecca Cramp, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Manager, Irish   Pharmaceutical   Healthcare Association

10.25 – 10.50:   Mr. Muiris O’Connor, Assistant Secretary for Research & Development and Health   Analytics, Department of Health

11.00   – 11.30: Tea/Coffee

11.30 -11.55:   Professor Orla Hardiman, Professor of Neurology, Trinity College Dublin

11.55– 12.20:  Dr. Colm Gilligan, Medical Director, MSD Ireland

12.20 – 12.45:  Mr. Thomas Lynch, Chairperson for the Dublin East Hospital Group

12.45  - 13.45:   Lunch

13.45 – 14.10:   Professor Arnold Hill, Head of School of Medicine\Professor of Surgery, Royal College of   Surgeons in Ireland

14.10 – 14. 35:   Professor Michael Gill, Clinical Director, Wellcome Trust/HRB CRF St. James’ Hospital   Trinity Centre for Health Sciences

14.35 -15.45   Academy Working Groups  – Updates and feedback

  • “The establishment of the optimum data & information environment for   Healthcare in Ireland” – Presented and facilitated by Professor Elaine Kay, Professor of Pathology  &   Consultant Histopathologist,  Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • “The establishment of the optimum ethical environment for Healthcare Research in   Ireland” – Presented and facilitated by Professor David Smith, Professor of Health Care Ethics Department of General PracticeRoyal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • “Clinical Trial Research: Value to Ireland” – Presented and facilitated TBC


Potential implications for Research Funding arising from the European Commission’s proposal in regard to the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)

The Academy has written to the Minister for  Health and the Irish MEPs  to draw their  attention to the implications of the European Commission’s proposal in regard to funding the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI)

The European Commission proposes to cut €2.7 billion from Horizon 2020 to finance EFSI. This equals a cut of 3.5% to an EU programme that already has one of the smallest budgets – yet research has a vital part to play in keeping Europe healthy and competitive. Investment in the European Research Council (ERC), one of the most important funders of excellent basic research, the Marie Skłodowska- Curie Actions,that support early-career researchers, and researchers’ access to infrastructure across Europe would all be cut.

The Academy notes the European Commission’s intention is for EFSI to also fund research projects. However, there is no formal obligation in place to ensure funds taken from Horizon 2020 is channelled back into research and innovation and it is  concerned that many organisations that conduct research – including universities, research funders, research performing organisations, charities and health services – may not be eligible for EFSI funding under the proposed wording. There is therefore a real danger of funding agreed to be for research being diverted to other purposes. EFSI is supposed to be of great benefit to the real economy. This is of great concern because research is a prerequisite for innovation, without research the pipeline to innovation is cut off. Research must be publicly funded in an appropriate way and any cuts to Horizon 2020 will result in a performance loss for the whole European research and innovation system.

Europe needs long-term, reliable and adequate funding for excellent research by the EU to deliver sustainable growth and jobs and improve the health of people living in Europe. Accordingly, in response to the European Commission’s proposal for funding the EFSI, the Academy is requesting that all Irish MEPs and the Irish Government, swiftly and assertively take steps to protect investment in Horizon 2020 and so in Irish research.

In particular the Academy has requested the Government and MEPs   to support:

  • A reversal in the cuts to Horizon 2020.
  • A formal guarantee that adequate funding in EFSI is channelled directly   into research and innovation to ensure that money committed to fund    research is not diverted to other purposes.

•           A prerequisite that funding to research and innovation projects will be   allocated competitively and on the basis of excellence

Federation of European Academies of Medicine  (FEAM) Symposium  13 May 2015, Paris: “Adolescent health: investing in the future”

 Singer-Polignac Foundation, 43 Avenue Georges Mandel, 75116 Paris, France

This Symposium will explore adolescence as an important gateway to adult diseases and the focus will be the topical issues of adolescent mental health and obesity. Leading biomedical experts from across Europe will present and discuss the current scientific evidence in terms of health promotion, disease prevention, and the evaluation of genetic and environmental risk factors.

It is organised by FEAM and the French Academy of Medicine with the support of FAM(Foundation of the French Academy of Medicine) and the Singer-Polignac Foundation

Further information is available on the FEAM website -

2014 Annual Scientific Symposium.  - “Clinical Trials – Now and in the Future”  

The Academy’s Annual Scientific Symposium   was held on Friday 21st November in the Albert Lecture Theatre, RCSI, St. Stephens’s Green, Dublin 2.

The symposium  featured National and International speakers with important contributions on Symposium’s topic, addressing  the current key issues in responding to  this  ever more important aspect of academic work in Ireland.

These included:

  • How Clinical trials are impacted by Ireland’s policy on science funding
  • Ethical and legal implications of current and proposed National and European legislative changes
  • The harmonisation of the regulatory environment on the protection of personal data in the EUī
  • Using research findings to inform and influence policy
  • The implications of new technologies and information environments on the conduct of Clinical Trials

Speakers  included:

  • Dr. Graham Love – Chief Executive, Health Research Board (HRB).
  • Professor Bernard Charpentier, Vice President, Federation of European Academies of Medicine ( FEAM).
  • Gillian Vale – Chief administrator, Medical Ethics, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.
  • Prof. Garret FitzGerald, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
  • Dr. Andy Brown, Global Head, Clinical trials of the future, Novartis, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Professor Padraic Fallon, Trinity College Dublin.
  • Dr. Mark Taylor, University of Sheffield, UK.


 For Programme and speaker profiles  see Events section


The Executive of the Academy has decided on a number of actions and initiatives to support its functions and activities. These include:

The appointment of an Executive Director with responsibility for the corporate executive function of the Academy 

Key functions of the Executive Director are:

  • All administrative and executive services and supports to the Council and Fellows of the Academy.
  • To oversee and effect the management and operation of the Academy
  • Develop and implement strategic, long-term, business, operations and budgetary Plans of the Academy as directed by the Council.
  • Assure legal and fiduciary probity of the Academy in all its operations.
  • Promote the objects and activities of the Academy.
  • Maintain a members Register for the Academy.
  • Represent the Academy in its administrative dealings with third parties.
  • Act as the Accounting Officer of the Academy.

New management and organisational arrangements:

Initial actions are the establishment of an executive sub group of the Academy’s Council consisting of the President, Secretary and Treasurer, with the Executive Director. It will meet as a minimum on a monthly basis, the full Council to meet as a minimum every two months

The development of a medium term work program as the basis for a formal    strategic and business plan for the Academy.

The work program has as its initial actions:

  • The development and implementation of strategies and plans for achieving the Academy’s objectives, the formulation of policies and the availability of reference resources to support its roles and functions.
  • Actions to create awareness and recognition for the Academy’s roles and functions
  • The determination of    priority activities in the context of resource availability,   their potential to support early success and underpin promotion and recognition for the Academy
  • Define and prioritise a range of potential policy issues
  • Develop high level summary   statements for each of the priority issues identified
  • Determine which of the priority policy issues would be the most appropriate for the production of a detailed and formally commissioned/ published report
  • Establish a time table of realisable deliverables


Appointment of Executive Director

The Academy has appointed Mr. Gerard Hurl as Executive Director. Gerard was HSE National Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT) prior to taking up his position with IAMS, previously project Director – ICT Convergence Project – Dublin Academic Teaching Hospitals (DATHs) and Director of ICT at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital Dublin. He is Secretary General of the EuroRec Institute, Vice Chairman of ProRecIreland, and past Chairman of the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland.

One of the most important aspects of his remit over the next number of months will be to meet with all the Fellows and determine how best to invigorate the Academy and make it more pertinent to the Academic lives of its members.