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Tuesday 20 March 2018

Reilly to review damning hospital reportFigures now 'out of date'

Edel O'Connell and Anne-Marie Walsh

HEALTH Minister James Reilly has been accused of "becoming another Micheal Martin" after ordering another report into a children's operating theatre scandal.

Independent deputy Finian McGrath said it was time for Dr Reilly to "roll up his sleeves" and do something for families waiting for surgery for up to two years.

His comments came after the minister ordered a review of aspects of a damning report into the under use of operating theatres at children's hospitals.

The unpublished HSE report detailed how three children's hospitals in Dublin -- Temple Street, Tallaght and Crumlin -- were failing to use fully their operating theatres at a time when children were waiting for surgery for up to two years.

The review, commissioned by the HSE, found Temple Street and Crumlin were both under using their theatres by 28pc while Tallaght was under using its theatre time by 17pc.

"We don't need another minister like Micheal Martin," said Mr McGrath.

"In opposition, Dr Reilly was jumping up and down about these kind of reports. We now need a minister to get on with the job and do something for these families."

The report found a significant shortfall in operations that could have been performed, and found that the shortfall was not the result of a lack of resources or funding. It emerged on Thursday that Dr Reilly had not been supplied with a copy of the 207-page report and had no prior knowledge of its existence.


He had to request it be sent to his department when its contents were first revealed by RTE. "The first I heard about it was on the 'News at One'," he said on Thursday.

However, in a statement given to the Irish Independent yesterday, Dr Reilly confirmed he now had a copy of the report and had been "briefed on aspects of it by his officials". He added he had been made aware that the hospitals involved had suggested some of the facts and figures contained in the report were "out of date".

Irish Independent

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