Public need to know there are no more 'dangerous doctors' in health system – FF

People who are sick badly need to be reassured that there are no more “dangerous doctors” working in the health services.

Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary said the comments by the High Court President about big flaws in doctor recruitment procedures raised very serious concerns among people who are ill and their families.

Mr Calleary said Mr Justice Kelly’s “scathing comments” about Health Service Executive’s deficient recruitment procedures raised the most serious questions about patient safety.

The Fianna Fáil deputy leader said just two years ago very serious questions were raised about the competence of a doctor working in four hospitals.  But the latest case in the High Court, in which a junior doctor was suspended from a maternity hospital due to lack of training and experience, showed this serious problem persisted.

“We need answers and guarantees that there are no more doctors of this calibre in the health services – that more have not got through,” Mr Calleary said.

Replying for the Government, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said Health Minister, Simon Harris, had sought an urgent report from his department on the matter.  Mr Coveney said the HSE was responsible for doctor recruitment and hospital groups were also charged with carrying out the assessment of potential doctor recruits.

Mr Coveney said the HSE was currently reviewing doctor recruitment procedures and the result of this was due next year. He added that all these concerns would be taken into account in that HSE review.

The Fianna Fáil deputy leader said more urgent action was needed immediately. “An ‘urgent report’ – that’s the usual reply in cases like this.  Seek an urgent reply, and then hope the media will go away,” Mr Calleary said.

The Tánaiste rejected allegations by Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty that the Taoiseach had “abused” frontline staff when talking about the need to have more hospital workers on duty over the Christmas holidays.

Mr Coveney said the Taoiseach was merely raising important issues around the health service problems and these included rostering issues.

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