“HSE and Government shortcomings in relation to Portlaoise endanger lives” - Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has commented on the reported findings of a draft report into the deaths of five babies in Portlaoise hospital. The draft report is said to have made very serious criticisms of the HSE.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“I stated at the end of last month that the independence of HIQA was being placed in the dock. It is now clear why the HSE was so unhappy with the draft report by HIQA. I understand that the draft report places much of the blame for these tragic outcomes at all levels of the health services but that ultimately the HSE, despite knowing about a range of issues that all lead to the loss of these precious young lives, did little to change the practices in place.
“It now appears that the HSE has been attempting to stifle this HIQA report as it suggests that these outcomes at Portlaoise could have been averted if the recommended actions from previous reports were implemented.
“The present Government also has very serious questions to answer. They decided to maintain the level of services provided at Portlaoise but they failed to ensure that the HSE had adequate funding to provide these services. Under-resourcing of critical services is a Government failure and they must face up to their culpability in these cases.
“My thoughts are once again with those families directly impacted by the issues raised at Portlaoise and at other maternity settings across the country. We must be able to reassure all families that action will be taken when problems are identified. Inaction is a failure too far and must never be tolerated across our health services in the future” concluded Deputy Ó Caoláin.