The Dáil will this week debate a Fianna Fáil motion on the crisis in maternity services at Portlaoise Hospital.The motion condemns the appalling treatment of parents and patients and the deliberate concealment of information.
It highlights the litany of failures at a local, regional and national level and demands the immediate implementation of HIQA recommendations to significantly improve patient care and governance structures at the hospital.
The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health has described as ‘deplorable’ the treatment of the families whose babies died at the hospital.
“The fact that information was deliberately withheld and concealed from bereaved parents is absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable in a modern health service. This is not something that happened decades ago. These are very recent tragedies exposing ongoing risks at Portlaoise Hospital,” Deputy Kelleher said.
“This week, we are asking all members of the Dáil to stand up for these families and for future patients at Portlaoise and demand the immediate implementation of HIQA recommendations to significantly improve patient safety. Many problems highlighted in Portlaoise are due to a lack of adequate funding, staff and resources which the government failed to provide.
“The hospital was not resourced to safely provide services at a level that would be expected of a model-3 hospital. Rather than resource it, the government instead signed off on successive HSE Service Plans which left the hospital incapable of safely providing the services expected of it.“The most important thing now is to ensure that patients in Portlaoise and indeed any other hospital can expect that their safety comes first. There has been too much lip service on this for too long. It’s time to act.”