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Minister for Health James Reilly Photocall Ireland

Patient group complains to Ombudsman over State 'lack of cooperation'

Dignity4Patients has complained about an alleged lack of cooperation received from the State and health authorities.

A PATIENT ADVOCACY organisation representing people who have been subjected to sexual abuse by medical practitioners has complained to the Ombudsman’s office about an alleged lack of cooperation from the State and health authorities, according to reports.

The Medical Independent reports that Dignity4Patients recently called on the Taoiseach and Minister for Health to hold a State inquiry into the scale of abuse perpetrated by medical staff against patients in their care. However, Dr James Reilly subsequently ruled this move for the foreseeable future – saying such an inquiry would prejudice legal cases being taken by 109 patients against former surgeon Michael Shine.

The group’s statutory funding was also reduced from €170,000 in 2010 to €22,500 this year, a move that staff say will threaten the future of the organisation.

The group says that its attempts to engage with the HSE and other health authorities have met with obstruction, delay or silence- provoking them to complain to the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly.

It is understood that the office of the Ombudsman is “actively examining” the complaint.

Read more in Ailbhe Jordan’s article and investigation in the Medical Independent>

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