Francis Finucane is a consultant endocrinologist at Galway University Hospitals and the Galway Clinic and an honorary senior lecturer in medicine at NUI Galway. He graduated in medicine from RCSI in Dublin. He was awarded an MD from the University of Dublin (TCD) for research on the mechanistic basis for type 2 diabetes in young people. Thereafter, he completed an MRC-funded post-doctoral career development fellowship at the Institute of Metabolic Science in Cambridge, UK, where he led an aetiological randomised controlled trial of a lifestyle intervention to reduce metabolic risk in older people. Since returning to Ireland in 2010, Dr. Finucane has led a regional bariatric service for patients with severe and complicated obesity. His clinical research focuses on the relationship between adiposity and insulin resistance.
Debate: Access to obesity services should be rationed.
For the motion: Professor Carel le Roux, Diabetes Complications Research Centre, Conway Institute, University College Dublin.
Against the motion: Professor Francis Finucane, Obesity and Endocrinology, Galway University Hospital.
Obesity is a complex and chronic brain disease with enormous impact on the individual physical and mental wellbeing, healthcare systems and society. Effective treatments are now becoming available to help patients. Ireland has some of the weakest provision of obesity services in Europe, but across Europe there is no consensus on whether obesity services makes any difference to the morbidity or mortality of patients with obesity. The question is whether Ireland should dedicate resources towards the treatment of obesity now or wait until more evidence of benefit emerge? Moreover the State has to decide whether it is more clinically effective and cost effective to ration access to obesity treatment services and focus all its efforts on prevention of obesity.