Snubbed by the Minister for Health



A FAHA farmer has been snubbed by Health Minister James Reilly as he seeks an inquiry into the tragic death of his wife in CUH over 15 years ago.

The minister's private secretary this week said that Dr James Reilly was too busy to meet 68-year-old Dermot Finn whose wife Noreen died in Cork University Hospital in 1997. In March, Mr Finn's reached a settlement in the High Court with three doctors who treated the mother-of-two after she was admitted to hospital in February 1997. Her condition deteriorated following an operation on a benign tumour in her skull and she died in April of that year. Cause of death was listed as aspiration pneumonia and an inquest was not held.

In March, following a limited admission of liability by the doctors, Mr Finn received a settlement of €300,000 but he says there are still unanswered questions surrounding his wife's death.

Following the completion of the proceedings, Mr Finn wrote to the Medical Council last month informing them of the settlement and they replied asking him if he wanted to lodge a formal complaint against a doctor.

Mr Finn has stated that he previously made a complaint in 1998 but now seeks a full inquiry.

Last month he wrote to Minister James Reilly seeking a meeting to call for a full inquest into the matter and he backed this correspondence up with a letter to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

On Tuesday afternoon this week he received a reply from the minister's private secretary Stephen Doran.

"Unfortunately due to a very busy schedule of government and departmental business the minister regrets that he will not be in a position to accede to your request," Mr Doran stated.

A former general election candidate, Mr Finn says he will continue to pursue the matter. "There are questions left to be answered and I aim to put pressure on the minister until he meets with me to discuss the matter," Mr Finn told The Kerryman.

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