Kildare GP role in forthcoming obesity conference

Obesity costing State money

Henry Bauress


Henry Bauress


Kildare GP role in forthcoming obesity conference

Dr Brendan O'Shea

 A Kildare based doctor is playing a key role in an upcoming  conference in Dublin on overweight and obesity on Thursday, August 29.

Newbridge GP, Dr Brendan O’ Shea, a fellow at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), and an Assistant  Adjuvant Professor at Trinity College, said overweight and obesity are growing and pressing concerns for Irish society, and the Irish health system.

The conference takes place on August 29 at the RCPI at 6 Kildare Street from 14.00-16.00.  There is limited capacity. Registration is free, but requires to be booked. It is on a first come / first served basis, by registering on

Dr O’Shea said there is strong consensus from the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (RCPI) Clinical Advisory Group for Obesity, that they should be reflected in the activities of a broad range of agencies, clinical services, health system administrators and planners, and elected political representatives, operating within the Irish health system.

In addition to the many serious health impacts, obesity also has a significant negative economic impact, costing the Irish state an estimated €1.13 billion in 2009, he said.

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The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland established a policy group on obesity in 2013, bringing together clinicians and other health professionals to propose solutions to address obesity and to support the achievement of the targets

specified in the Healthy Ireland framework.

 They include  public policy measures and actions for health professionals including training.

Dr O’ Shea’s academic commitments include primary care research in overweight and obesity.  He currently chairs the RCPI committee on obesity.

He said that at Primary Care (community medicine), additional capacity is required, to bring the Irish health system into line with more effective EU and Commonwealth Health Systems.

The Newbridge doctor said recent progress with the GP Contract is helpful and that Slaintecare, which envisages building capacity in Primary Care, is critical.  “With this, people and children attending community health services can expect to have their weight checked, discussions initiated, and advice given regarding diet and exercise, with adequate opportunity to discuss weight of children, where necessary and appropriate.”