Fianna Fáil TD for Loais – Offaly Sean Fleming has demanded the full publication of a HIQA report into Portlaoise Hospital. Deputy Fleming made the comments after a draft report found the HSE failed to act on safety risks at the hospital.
“There must be no compromise by HIQA, at the request of either the HSE or the Minister for Health, to modify or censor the report. This is a major test for the independence of HIQA. Any failure to publish the report in full would be a worry for the future standing of the organisation. If HIQA back down from publishing the full report they will be failing the public whom they exist to serve” said Deputy Fleming.
“The HSE has been attempting to weaken the report at every opportunity in order to protect its own senior management. This is utterly unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue.
“Up until recently the HSE was beginning to be more open and transparent with regard its management. However it is now reverting back to its hidden culture that has undermined our health system in the past.
“Publication of the full HIQA report is necessary so that lessons can be learned not just for Portlaoise hospital, but for all hospitals across the country. This is paramount to ensuring better care and treatment for all patients and confidence in our hospitals.
“The public have the right to know the full details of this report, and what steps are being taken to address the issues raised in it. The report must be published without any further delay to ensure patient safety is not compromised.
“The central problem in Portlaoise hospital has been the reduction in funding by the Government in recent years. The staff at the hospital are doing trojan work under immense pressure. However they are ultimately being let down by the Government who are not providing sufficient funding to meet the needs of patient care in the hospital” said Deputy Fleming.