No, not my poor old head. I’ll tell you about that another day.
I’m talking about the latest controversy to rock the Irish health service. Yet another systems failure has emerged which directly impacts on patient care and safety. Am I surprised? Sadly, not one bit.
News emerged earlier this week that almost 58,000 x-rays taken over a 5-year period at Tallaght hospital in Dublin, were never reviewed by a consultant radiologist. Today, we hear that many thousands of GP referral letters lie unopened and unanswered somewhere within the bowels of the hospital.
Now everyone’s fighting over who’s to blame for these astounding revelations.
Consultant radiologists at Tallaght hospital say that over the past three to four years, they have written more than 40 letters to hospital management seeking extra staff to cope with the volume of work. They also say they warned management that there was a growing delay in reporting on X-rays but nothing was done.
The new CEO at the hospital says that he only became aware of the problem when he was appointed in Decemberof last year.
The GPs in the area say that they’ve been aware for a long time of a major problem with regard to referral letters sent to Tallaght hospital.
Our Minister for Health is conveniently out of the country at a time when the health service is falling apart.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) is floundering around trying to restore public confidence in a health service that is on the verge of collapse from years of mismanagement and under resourcing.
There have been heated exchanges in the Dáil this morning over the lack of accountability for the mess.
The whole situation beggars belief. Patient care and safety have undoubtedly been compromised by this latest health scandal. The sad reality is that what’s emerged from Tallaght hospital this week, is only the tip of the iceberg.