Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has said the latest revelations about patient safety at Portlaoise Hospital raise very serious questions for the Government that must be answered as a matter of urgency.
Reacting to reports in today’s Irish Times, Deputy Kelleher has said patient safety remains at risk until a controversial HIQA report into patient safety at Portlaoise Hospital is published.
“We cannot be expected to wait any longer to get to the bottom of the tragic deaths of 5 babies at Portlaoise and to get answers about the wider safety concerns at Portlaoise. At the moment we are being subjected to a drip-feed of information revealing a litany of failures that raise extremely serious questions for Government and health service management at the highest level,” said Deputy Kelleher.
“According to reports, the Government ignored alarm bells about safety risks at Portlaoise Hospital. It failed to give Portlaoise the resources to safely operate 24-hour critical care services. It went against best practice recommendations for political reasons. If it is the case that the Government and health service managers knew that these services could not be run to a safe standard and just turned a blind eye to the situation, it is extremely serious.
“We need to see this report from the State’s health and safety watchdog without delay. There can be no more attempts to push this further down the road and avoid responsibility for the dangers at Portlaoise Hospital. It is time that the Government stopped putting politics before people, and started acting in the best interests of patients at Portlaoise. I am calling for a statement from the Health Minister Leo Varadkar today to address these latest revelations and outline what he is doing, as the head of the health service, to ensure that there will be no more delays in the publication of this report.”