Kerry Fianna Fáil TD, John Brassil has said that the discovery that four people have died and seven people have had delayed cancer diagnoses arising from incorrect scan readings at Kerry Hospital is a result of an overworked and under resourced radiography department.
“In the first instance, my thoughts go to the families of the four people who lost a loved one, and to the seven others and their families who suffered from a delayed diagnosis.
“While some may claim that 11 delayed diagnoses out of 43,000 scans is within normal parameters, for the 11 families affected, nothing could be further from normal.
“It’s now abundantly clear that these delayed diagnoses, arising from misread scans, were caused by people being overworked, and not having the necessary clinical oversight.
“Previously, SIPTU, the union representing radiographers at the hospital warned the HSE, by letter dated 13th December 2017, that staff was being overwhelmed, and that the Department was short-staffed and unsafe.
“It has been reported that some technicians were working 12 hour shifts and were being paid on the basis of number of scans completed. This should never be how a public health system should function.
“The root of this scandal is the way in which the South / South West Hospital Group leaves Kerry University Hospital isolated. The Group has consistently failed to provide the support the hospital needs to deliver the best possible level of care.
“Learnings from this report must be implemented into the Group, and the HSE must ensure that staff working in its hospitals are never so overworked or under resourced that this happens again,” concluded Brassil.