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Redress Board required for Drogheda Hospital victims

28 February, 2006

Report on Drogheda Hospital

Redress Board required for Drogheda Hospital victims

Commenting on the Report of Judge Maureen Harding Clark into the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Unit of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghin Ó Caoláin TD said:

"This report is a damning indictment not just of one consultant but of a conspiracy involving a number of people who either participated in gross medical malpractice or turned a blind eye or took part in the cover-up afterwards. This included the unlawful removal of the charts and birth registers of many of the victims of former consultant Michael Neary ‘with a view to concealing the details of the operation performed and the treatment given’. In other words, this was theft to facilitate a cover-up

"All of this was allowed to happen in a climate where consultants were seen to be above reproach and where elitism led to a total lack of accountability.

"The Minister for Health and Children should respond to the Report with the immediate establishment of a Scheme of Redress to deal with all claims of medical negligence by the women who were in the care of the consultants and staff of the Maternity Unit of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda between the years 1974-1998. This call has already been made by 21 Oireachtas members in the catchment area of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

"The Minister owes a solemn obligation to the women victims to establish a Scheme of Redress which will provide them with both a forum to state their cases and recompense for the physical injury and personal grief they have all suffered.

"The Government also needs to make clear where stands the Garda investigation of these matters. Are prosecutions being pursued in relation to those who stole medical records?

"This Report also raises profound questions about the regulation of the medical profession which must be addressed. Self-regulation is no longer acceptable.

"Tribute must be paid to the women and their families who have campaigned under the banner of Patient Focus. Today’s Report is above all a vindication of them." ENDS

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