Louise O’Reilly TD welcomes cross party support for Sinn Féin motion on mandatory open disclosure
Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has welcomed the cross party support for her party’s Private Members Business motion on mandatory open disclosure, while expressing regret that it took a national scandal for attention to be brought back to the issue.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The past number of weeks have been a very difficult period for the State, for the health service, and more than anyone, it has been tremendously difficult for the women affected by the CervicalCheck scandal.
“In addition to the CervicalCheck scandal there has also recently been the reports into the deaths of babies in the Portiuncula and Portlaoise Hospitals.
“The issues and problems surrounding these cases have all in some way undermined confidence in the health service.
“The public know the Trojan work which is done by staff in our health service, from porters to health care assistants, GPs, to practice nurses, to hospital doctors, to paediatric nurses, to radiographers, and across the whole service.
“Unfortunately, in a small number of cases a lack of disclosure has cast a dark shadow across the whole health service – and this is not fair to victims of serious adverse medical incidents who were not told about mistakes or to the majority of staff in the health service.
“This motion and any legislation flowing from it is not an effort to punitively punish health care and medical professionals; rather it seeks to help them and to help patients.
“We believe the duty to disclose doesn’t stop with healthcare professionals, and with the cervical check scandal in mind the failure to disclose goes all the way to the top of the corporate body of the HSE, to the Director General of the HSE and to the Minister for Health.
“If we have open disclosure for those on the ward or in the surgery then there also needs to be accountability and disclosure among individual executives, hospital CEOs, and members of the HSE and the Department of Health.
“It is a pity that it has taken a scandal for attention to be brought back to this issue; but let us work together to right a wrong and make open disclosure a mandatory process."