HOSPITALS with the highest and lowest patient death rates are to be named for the first time later this year, the Department of Health has pledged.
The plan to reveal the controversial data follows the first anonymised report revealing sharp variations in death rates. It showed heart attack patients treated in one hospital were 10 times more likely to die than in another.
However, the hospitals in question were not named, and while some of the differences may be as a result of the quality of care the patient received, the report said was not possible to draw firm conclusions because of a lack of key information.
Now plans are under way to study death rates from 2011 to 2013 using more reliable measures. The aim is to publish the names of individual hospitals and health regions "later in 2014".
Health Minister James Reilly cited death rates for heart attack patients as one of the reasons why he shut down the emergency department in Roscommon Hospital two years ago.
He said the mortality rate for heart attack in Roscommon was 21.3pc which was three times above the national figure and five times more than the best- performing hospital.