Being recalled for scan should not be viewed as a 'bad thing', claims Simon Harris
The number of patients recalled as a result of the University Hospital Kerry scans review has now increased to 45
Simon Harris has said the majority of people being recalled for scans at University Hospital Kerry were being contacted as a "precautionary measure".
The Health Minister said it was of the utmost importance that it wasn't viewed as a "bad thing" that people were being recalled for scans.
The number of patients recalled as a result of the University Hospital Kerry scans review has now increased to 45.
The review was launched after seven patients had a serious delayed diagnosis, of which at least three involve cancer.
A review is currently underway.
"I think we need to be careful we don't decide people being recalled is a bad thing," Mr Harris said.
"I want our health service to take every precaution possible.
"I think it's very important we don't have people unnecessarily concerned.
"A huge majority of the people being recalled are for a precautionary reason - it's right the hospital recalls them.
"My priority is to make sure the hospital has the resources and gets through this as quickly as possible, that's why we significantly increased the number of radiologists on the review just before Christmas."
The Health Minister added it was imperative the review was done as "quickly as possible".
According to Mr Harris, 60pc of patients have had their scans reviewed already.
He said once the review is completed at the end of January or the start of February, he will be meeting with the South/South West Hospital Group to "find out what lessons need to be learned and are those lessons applicable to other hospitals across the health service".
"I'm keeping a very open mind on the next steps to be taken pending the review," he added.
"My priority is to make sure the scans are reviewed as quickly as possible," he told RTÉ Radio 'News at One'.
"And we also need to be conscious the Medical Council is investigating this matter too."
The review involves a range of scans, including X-rays, ultrasounds and CAT scans.
The period of query is from March 2016 to July 2017 and covers patients from Kerry, north Cork and south Limerick.
Concerns emerged in the summer when three serious events were notified regarding a locum consultant radiologist and an initial audit of a sample of scans was conducted.
The employee no longer works at the hospital.