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Drogheda Hospital scandal - Michael Neary struck off - Minister should establish public inquiry

30 July, 2003


The Minister for Health and Children Mícheál Martin should establish a full public inquiry into how dozens of unnecessary caesarean hysterectomies were carried out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, according to Sinn Féin Health spokeperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD.

He was commenting on the news that Dr. Michael Neary has been struck off by the Medical Council following their investigation into his practice at Our Lady of Lourdes. Deputy Ó Caoláin said: .

"The women victims of this scandal, some of them teenagers at the time of their operations, have been through dreadful experiences. Without their knowledge or consent, they had their wombs removed unnecessarily and were prevented from having more children. I have heard their stories first hand. What I was told ranks amongst the most horrific examples of medical malpractice that I know of. These women are victims of a form of medical butchery.

"It is disgraceful that the secret inquiry by the Medical Council into the conduct of a consultant at the centre of this issue has taken so long to complete.

"I met the Minister for Health and Children Mícheál Martin on this issue on two occasions, including with members of Patient Focus, and I repeat now the call made then. There must be a full public inquiry and there must be a scheme of compensation for the women. We must know how such practices were allowed to continue for so long in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

"On my proposal the North Eastern Health Board recommended an appropriate process of compensation, and requested the Minister for Health and Children to establish a full public inquiry into the delivery of Maternity Services at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. This should now be announced by the Minister without delay." ENDS

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