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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 31 July 2021

HSE puts pressure on newspaper to reveal its source on hospital waiting lists

However the Sunday Business Post is not budging.

The front page of Sunday's SBP.
The front page of Sunday's SBP.
Image: @sundaybusiness via Twitter

THE HSE IS pressuring a Sunday newspaper to reveal its source for an internal memo which urged health service staff to “manipulate waiting lists”.

In an unusual statement, the HSE expressed its “disappointment and frustration” that the Sunday Business Post would not release any details about the document which was the basis of a front page story three days ago.

The HSE said it had no knowledge of the memo and was not contacted by the newspaper before the publication of the article.

“At this juncture, the HSE finds it very difficult to comment on the allegations made in the article, and subsequent reportage, as it has very limited information,” the statement said.

The story said that the internal memo was sent to staff in one HSE region, urging them to rig waiting lists in order to meet targets.

The memo stated that staff should prioritise patients who were waiting under a certain period of time.

In response, the Sunday Business Post reports that Health Minister Leo Varadkar says he plans to publish detailed information about how many public patients are on every hospital consultants’ waiting lists by the end of this year.

Separately, the Department of Health has already said it will investigate the reports.

Ian Kehoe, the new editor of the Sunday Business Post, told The Irish Times that the document is “legitimate and genuine” and is refusing to release the document to the HSE, saying it could reveal the source.

Kehoe is to meet HSE staff today to discuss the matter.

The HSE has called on the paper to either release the document or give it some of the details that it needs to investigate.

“The HSE wishes to make it clear that it has NO policy in relation to manipulating waiting lists,” the statement said.

John Crown: ‘It’s quite plausible that the HSE would try to minimise the appearance of waiting lists’ > 

Read: ‘Serious allegations’ of rigged waiting lists to be pursued by Department of Health > 

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