Three legal cases started over delayed diagnoses cases in Kerry University Hospital

THREE legal cases have been initiated in relation to failures at Kerry University Hospital which saw 11 patients given a delayed diagnosis.

A review on more than 45,000 images taken by one radiologist was sparked after a number of patients were found to have cancer after being given the all clear.

Both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin raised the issue with Tanáiste Simon Coveney during Leader’s Questions today and urged that there would be efforts made to ensure families did not have to face court battles.

Mr Coveney said that three cases relating to the cases identified in the review have been commenced.

He said the State Claims Agency will manage the claims on behalf of the State and said it was always the objective of the SCA to avoid going to court if it was possible.

Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary said 2018 has been marked with a series of tragic incidents including CervicalCheck and the issue of non qualified doctors working in hospitals.

He pressed the Tanáiste on vacancy rates across consultancy posts in the health service, and the impact those vacancies are having on staff and standards of care.

Mr Calleary said there are 500 consultants posts filled by non consultants – some 16pc of the total consultancy posts across Ireland.

In relation to the radiologist whose work was the subject of the review Mr Coveney said the Medical Council were informed about concerns about the radiologist who has resigned from the hospital but that assessment is ongoing.

He did not confirm if the radiologist was still working in the health service.

Pearse Doherty who also raised the issue criticised the fact that there was no timeline for implementing the recommendations made in the review.

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