Statement from the IHCA re mortuary facilities in Waterford University Hospital
The Irish Hospital Consultants Association has said that it is alarmed at the response from the Government to a number of consultants raising their concerns about existing resource deficits in Waterford University Hospital.
The IHCA, which represents over 90% of Consultants working in hospitals, said that Consultants have an ethical and professional responsibility to highlight concerns that impact on patient care and service delivery. The Consultant Pathologists in Waterford have repeatedly highlighted their genuine concerns about the Waterford University Hospital mortuary facilities to management over a lengthy period. The response by Government to question the validity of these concerns rather than tackling the issue in a much more timely manner is disappointing.
Dr Donal O’Hanlon, IHCA President, said that the Association fully supports the Consultant Pathologists in Waterford University Hospital who in October 2018 wrote to the South/South West Hospital Group CEO on the pressing need to have the inadequate facilities in the hospital mortuary addressed. “The response in recent days from health service management and the Government is disappointing as it has not focused on the risks and concerns highlighted by the Consultant Pathologists. It is clear that the Consultants have, in the public interest, highlighted genuine issues and risks associated with the insufficiency of mortuary facilities.
“We need a culture change that encourages Consultants and our hospital colleagues to disclose their concerns about health service delivery risks. Otherwise the quality and safety of patient care is at risk and the fundamental consultant role as patient advocate will be undermined. Patient safety and quality of care must be central for staff and management alike,” concluded Dr O’Hanlon.
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