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Kenny: No family should have to fight for truth in our health system

The Taoiseach was responding to the publication of a damning report today examining the deaths of four babies at Portlaoise Regional Hospital.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny giving his speech this evening.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny giving his speech this evening.
Image: Niall Carson/PA

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said today’s report on the deaths of four babies at Portlaoise Regional Hospital “makes for grim reading”.

Speaking at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis, Kenny said “no family should have to fight for truth in our system…no family suffering such grief and trauma should ever have their concerns ignored.”

The report, written by Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, found that patients and families were treated in a poor – and at times – appalling manner, with limited respect, kindness, courtesy and consideration. It also emerged today that the death of a fifth baby born at the hospital’s maternity unit is currently under investigation.

This evening the Taoiseach commended his party colleague, Health Minister James Reilly for his “decisive and swift action on the matter”, pointing out that all of the eleven recommendations in the report have been accepted and are being implemented immediately.

The minister has ordered an analysis of midwifery workforce planning across the country and an interim management team has been put in place at the hospital from today.

“It will help to ensure that this can never happen again. It should never have happened at all,” Kenny told the Ard Fheis in his speech. “It will ensure that Ireland will continue to be recognised as one of the safest countries in the world in which to give birth to children.”

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He conveyed his sympathy to the families who lost their babies and said it is through their resolve that this change is happening.

Read: Death of another baby at Portlaoise being investigated>

Read: HSE replaces management at Portlaoise hospital in response to baby deaths>

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