Saturday 20 January 2018

Bitter blame game among TDs over hospital debacle

Michael Brennan and Patricia McDonagh

LOCAL government and opposition TDs became embroiled last night in a bitter blame game over the X-ray debacle at Tallaght Hospital .

Coalition TDs pointed the finger at the management at Tallaght Hospital.

But the opposition focused their guns firmly on absent Health Minister Mary Harney.

Junior Science and Technology Minister Conor Lenihan: "This is a distinct management failure in a particular department in the hospital. Clearly, it's a huge concern and worry that reflects badly on the management. My view very clearly is that it needs to reduce the size of its board from 22 to around nine or 10, like we did with FAS.

"Reputationally, this is a good hospital from a patient-care point of view. The problem here is a severe management failure in the area of diagnostics."

Fianna Fail TD Charlie O'Connor: "My immediate focus has to be on those families who are affected by this news. I served on the board of Tallaght Hospital, I've been a patient and, of course, I'm deeply concerned. Already 1,200 people have phoned Tallaght Hospital and the hospital management assures me they are working through the calls. The big issue for me now is that confidence would be restored in my local hospital."

Fine Gael TD Brian Hayes: "People are really concerned locally ... there has always been a sense of pride in our hospital. But it did start off with an €8m deficit and as a result it never got the specialist team it needed. The government response is worrying. Mary Harney should resign."

Labour TD Pat Rabbitte: "I think people are gobsmacked ... they didn't think such a thing could happen. They are bemused that GPs' letters weren't opened. Mary Harney and the Government should resign. The Government is dysfunctional and not fit for purpose. The issues people are raising require patients to be reassured."

Irish Independent

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