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Government lacks urgency on MRSA threat – Ó Caoláin

6 February, 2007

Following the statement by a leading consultant microbiologist that MRSA is 'endemic' in Irish hospitals, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said that the Government's approach to the problem lacks urgency.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said, "The inquest on a man who died from MRSA has heard from a leading microbiologist that the infection is endemic in Irish hospitals. The scale of the problem is alarming but that is not matched by appropriate action from the Irish Government. The Government lacks urgency in its approach to the MRSA threat to the health of people, not only in Irish hospitals, but throughout the community.

"The problem has been allowed to deteriorate because of overcrowding in our hospitals. This is a direct result of the Government's failure to increase hospital bed capacity by 3,000 as promised.

"Concerted action is required and this includes providing more single rooms and isolation units for those with MRSA. The Government should establish a National Directorate on a statutory basis for the inspection, prevention and control of MRSA and other hospital-acquired infections." ENDS

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