Our health is a wealth: Professorial Public Lecture series at WIT

Health Science
Prof Stephen Beatty, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Institute of Eye Surgery in Whitfield Clinic, speaking at WIT’s Professorial Public Lecture Series

Prof Stephen Beatty, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Institute of Eye Surgery in Whitfield Clinic, speaking at WIT’s Professorial Public Lecture Series

Our health and our health care system are two of the most emotive topics in public discourse today and in the fourth of Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Public Lecture series, two Professors from different areas within the healthcare system, consider current trends and emerging areas of research in healthcare.

Our health and our health care system are two of the most emotive topics in public discourse today and in the fourth of Waterford Institute of Technology’s (WIT) Public Lecture series, two Professors from different areas within the healthcare system, consider current trends and emerging areas of research in healthcare.

In his lecture titled ‘The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves’, Prof John Wells, Head of the School of Health Sciences at the Institute, considered the degree to which technocratic reform should override the expressed preferences of citizens in shaping the nature, content and delivery of health services and the implications for public trust and confidence in health services, the health professions and wider governance.

Exploring the technocratic nature and character of recent health care reform in a number of countries, including Ireland, Prof Wells drew attention to the increasing tendency to manage public opinion in relation to reform rather than properly incorporate the expressed views of the public within reform and the increased foregrounded of clinicians as the managers of technocratic reform.

According to Prof Wells, the implications of this approach is that “if the public, particularly at local level, come to view reform as illegitimate because their views have not been incorporated with the reform and clinicians are seen as leading the reform, public trust in clinicians will be eroded and such trust is central to the delivery of effective health care”.

In this regard, Prof Wells reminded the audience that “within a democratic society, clinicians, health care managers and health care researchers, derive their authority and legitimacy from the consent of the people and not vice versa”.

Vision and cognition represent two of the most important attributes to social independence and quality of life. Prof Stephen Beatty, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Institute of Eye Surgery in Whitfield Clinic, is at the forefront of this research through his long standing research into Age-related Macular Degeneration and more recent research into cognitive function. In his lecture titled 'Nutrition for Vision', he discussed how WIT is leading the way in this emerging area of research.

Speaking at the lecture, Prof Beatty said that “there is a welcome epidemic of survival and increasing life expectancy and for each passing year, we can expect to live six weeks longer. Thus we see the emergence of a relatively new science, the study of an ageing human population and healthy ageing will require changes to lifestyle and nutrition.”

Speaking about his ground breaking research with Prof John Nolan at the Institute’s Macular Pigment Research Group (MPRG), Prof Beatty continued, "It has been an honour and a privilege to work with WIT over the last 13 years, and such collaboration has demonstrated how world-class research can now, in the age of the internet, be performed outside of large urban centres”.

The Professorial Public Lecture series is designed to engage the Institute’s wider community by exchanging and inspiring ideas, sharing our very best research and acknowledging the very great contribution our newly appointed professors make to their community and the region.

For more information on the remaining lecture in the series, visit www.wit.ie/proflectures.

Related Courses

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  General Nursing
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Psychiatric Nursing
Bachelor of Science (Honours) in  Intellectual Disability Nursing

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