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All victims of Neary and others should be accommodated by redress scheme - Ó Caoláin

8 March, 2006

Speaking in the Dáil today during statements on the Report of the Lourdes hospital Enquiry the Sinn Féin Health spokesperson and Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said, “All victims of Mr. Neary and others, not just the 129 cases of caesarean hysterectomies performed by Mr. Neary but all those who were subjected to this brutal procedure should be accommodated by the planned redress scheme.”

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “It is vital that the Government moves swiftly now to implement the recommendations of the Report and establishes the Redress Scheme for all the women victims of malpractice in Lourdes Hospital 

“The victims of Mr. Neary and others who practised in the Maternity Unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital require and deserve a Redress Scheme that fully accommodates their need to have their experiences outlined and heard.  They require a Hearing.

“All victims of Mr. Neary and others should be accommodated.The scheme should not be confined to the 129 cases of caesarean hysterectomies performed by Mr. Neary but should include all those, without exception, who were subjected to this brutal procedure, some 59 further cases I understand. It should also encompass all other bad outcomes, including those who had their ovaries removed and the cases of the babies who died.

“The Report highlights a system of characterised by authoritarianism, elitism, lack of accountability, lack of consultation, inadequate training and bad management. It is clear that Michael Neary operated without being accountable to anyone. A strict hierarchy existed in which all staff were expected to know their place.

“The scandal is that all of this took place in a hospital that was funded by Government to treat public patients. Yet the State provided no proper system of oversight and accountability of those into whose care it had placed our citizens.

“This Report should be a clarion call that contradicts another statement from the Tánaiste, shortly after her appointment to the Health portfolio. In December 1994 she stated, ‘I believe in a minimalist role for the State in all our lives, including health care.’

“In the Lourdes Hospital scandal the problem was that the State abandoned its responsibility. The women must get justice and it must never be allowed to happen again.” ENDS

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