Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly TD has called on the Government to explain the circumstances leading up to the establishment of a review of colonoscopies conducted at St. Columcille’s Hospital in Loughlinstown.

Deputy Donnelly made the comments after it was revealed the hospital is conducting a review of colonoscopies involving 65 patients after concerns were raised by a member of staff.

Deputy Donnelly said, “The member of staff who came forward and raised these concerns with management should be commended. It shows that the internal reporting system within the hospital is working.

“While it is apparent that this review is a precautionary measure and that the risk to patients is low, it nonetheless begs the question as to how an incorrect practice went unnoticed for 6 months.

“The main priority must be to ensure all patients impacted by this are re-examined as soon as possible. However we also need answers as to why this system failure went unnoticed for so long.

“Minister Harris needs to provide a guarantee that all of the necessary steps have been taken to prevent this issue from arising again. Patient safety cannot be put at risk,” concluded Deputy Donnelly.