All cases involving anaesthetist suspected of abuse need to be investigated - Réada Cronin TD
Sinn Féin TD for Kildare North Réada Cronin has said that Naas General Hospital and the HSE have a duty of care to engage in a detailed examination of all cases and patients that a former anaesthetist suspected of abuse was involved with.
Teachta Cronin was responding to an RTÉ Investigates report, which highlighted a series of complaints of suspected sexual abuse of unconscious patients by a doctor at Naas General Hospital.
Teachta Cronin said:
“My first thoughts are with the man known as Michael, and with his wife and family, for the trauma they are enduring after these revelations of suspected abuse while under anaesthetic. It is the ultimate breach of trust.
“Now Naas General Hospital has a duty of care to engage in a detailed, retrospective examination of all the cases this anaesthetist was involved in.
“The HSE has an equal duty of care to undertake a similar detailed, retrospective examination of cases in other hospitals or healthcare settings, in which this doctor worked.
“Twenty years after the appalling situation in Drogheda, where lessons were supposedly learned, this suspected abuse in our own community hospital has come to light.
“I hope we will not hear any organisational or institutional nonsense about ‘learning curves’ or ‘learnings’ because in this state, people have such bitter, personal experience of apparently-little being learned by institutions at all.
“Good action is what is needed, not fine words.
“Whistleblowers have been treated badly in this state and I hope the staff members who came forward in this instance are being treated well and given every assistance.
“This is an extremely difficult time for the great workers at Naas General Hospital who have been working shifts until they drop, especially over the last two years during the pandemic.
“They are always there for us when we need them. It is important that the community rallies behind them when they need support.
“I thank Aoife Hegarty and RTÉ for bringing this to light, and KFM for its excellent radio coverage yesterday. This is real public-service broadcasting.
“I will do everything I can to help anyone affected and am always here for the people of North Kildare.”