24 September 2008

Investigation into Ennis Hospital announced

An investigation into services provided at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Ennis, Co. Clare has been announced by the Minister for Health, Mary Harney (photo left).

The review of care at the hospital will be conducted by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) - another of the many faceless quangos created by Bertie Ahern - and will include "issues which arose from the misdiagnosis of the late Ann Moriarty and Edel Kelly", who both died earlier this year after being treated wrongly at the hospital in 2007.

"The purpose of the HIQA inquiry is to review patient services at the hospital with a particular reference to diagnosis and 'follow-up' of patients", the Minister said.
The communications system inside the hospital will also come under review.

Speaking in the Dáil, Minister Harney also announced that the Health Service Executive (HSE) is now "making arrangements for patients who attended breast clinics within the last two years and who did not get a diagnosis of cancer but who have concerns in light of recent events".
She said that "any woman who is concerned should contact their GP who will make a 're-referral' to a specialised breast clinic".

The Minister said while there is every reason to believe they would be given the correct assessment, "it is important to give patients the option of the specialised referral service".

Meanwhile, Ms. Kelly's parents are to meet the Minister next Monday. The Kelly family's solicitor said they met the Chief Executive of the HSE, Professor Brendan Drumm, last night.

Prof. Drumm has stated that there may be more cases of misdiagnosis of breast cancer across Ireland. His comments followed a renewed call for an independent inquiry as it emerged that a third case of cancer misdiagnosis looks likely to materialise at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Ennis (photo above).
(see also my entry from yesterday)

At a meeting of the Western Health Forum in Galway, Prof. Drumm said he had been made aware of the case yesterday and it still has to be validated.

John McCormack of the Irish Cancer Society said it was vital that patients were reassured about the effectiveness of the system.

Sadly the words effectiveness and system do seldom match in Ireland under the incompetent government we have now for more than a decade.

The Emerald Islander

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