Dr Susan Hill, Dr John Gallagher and Dr Conor McDonnell of Cognate Health launched the new company in May.

A unique new national network of occupational health doctors aims to change the way in which employers look after the health of their staff, by cutting absenteeism and boosting workers’ productivity.

Established by occupational health company Cognate Health, the GP network of more than 30 physicians, which is the first of its kind in the country, allows employers to have instant access to occupational health physicians across the country. It will assist with pre-employment health checks to managing stress or medical illnesses of current employees.

Cognate Health is run by three medics – Dr John Gallagher, Dr Conor McDonnell and Dr Susan Hill. Dr Gallagher is Head of the Occupational Health Department for HSE South, based at Cork University Hospital and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

“Until now, employers had to arrange appointments themselves with medics who might not be anywhere near their place of work. With our network of approved physicians, we can ensure they will get an appointment close to the worker’s location within 48 hours and we’ll arrange everything for them,” he noted.

Gallagher, who established Employment Health Advisors (EHA) Limited in 1993, set up Cognate Health in May, along with Dr Conor McDonnell and Dr Susan Hill. which has ISO 9001 certification which is the world’s foremost quality management standard.

Dr Conor McDonnell, who joined Mid-West Occupational Health as a partner in May 2010, was appointed to a consultant post in occupational medicine in the HSE Mid-West Region in August 2012. He is managing director of EHA Limerick.

Specialising in occupational medicine Dr Susan Hill lectures part-time on the Diploma in Safety Health and Welfare at Work, and the MSc in Occupational Health at UCC