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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 9 August, 2020

HSE chief Paul Reid 'reassured' that 244 Covid-19 cases at Mater hospital were reported legally

The official publication of the cases dating back to mid-March was delayed until this week.


THE HEAD OF the HSE has said he is satisfied that the reporting of Covid-19 cases from the Mater Hospital in Dublin complied with legal requirements, despite an anomaly which emerged earlier this week.

It follows controversy surrounding the delay of the official publication of some 244 cases at the hospital dating back to mid-March until Thursday.

However, the Chief Medical Officer clarified that the number of cases each day was small, never going above ten, but that the numbers were accumulated and were reported as one group.

In a subsequent statement, the Mater claimed it has reported all cases of Covid-19 positive results to the relevant authorities on a daily basis. 

And speaking at today’s weekly HSE briefing, the executive’s CEO Paul Reid told reporters that when he became aware of the situation, he asked Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry to complete an investigation to “establish the facts of the matter”.

Reid said he has since received a draft outline report of the investigation, and that despite concerns, he has been “specifically reassured” about the circumstances which led to the anomaly.

However, although he said that he would not release full details to allow due process to continue in the investigation, Reid did provide some information.

He noted that the reporting of Covid-19 cases to health authorities is a statutory legal requirement, but said that in the case of the Mater Hospital, the “information furnished clearly demonstrates that the legal requirement was met”.

Reid further noted that contact tracing in relation to the cases involved has been completed.

But he said that information submitted to labs at some stage in the process “did not have the full details”, particularly all the names of these cases.

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“Therefore it didn’t allow us a complete correlation of the data at the appropriate time,” Reid said.

HSE’ Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry will now seek assurances from hospitals that their Covid-19 data is being submitted with full details.

Reid added that the health service’s final report would make “very clear recommendations in this regard”.

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