Thursday, October 17, 2013

Doherty calls for funding for healthcare safety body to be reinstated

Fine Gael Meath East TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Regina Doherty, has received a commitment from the Minister for Health, James Reilly TD, that he will consider reinstating funding for the Irish Society for Quality and Safety in Healthcare (ISQSH), the not-for-profit organisation that promotes quality and safety improvement throughout the Irish health service. 

Deputy Doherty raised the issue with Minister Reilly during today’s meeting of the Health Committee, where the investigation into the death of Savita Halappanavar was among the issues discussed. 

“If we are to learn anything from the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, it is that we must listen to the experience of patients within the Irish healthcare system. The series of reports which have been published into Savita’s death detail a catalogue of errors, which could have been avoided. 

“A team led by Ian Carter has been charged with looking at the recommendations from the three reports and ensuring they are implemented. But if we are to really change the way patients are treated in our hospitals, we need to ensure we are collecting their views and recording their experiences.

“The ISQSH is a non-profit body which promotes quality in the Irish healthcare system by surveying patients and using their experiences to improve the standard of healthcare services. The group was due to carry out a survey earlier this year on maternity services, but it had to be dropped due to a lack of funding. I have called on Minister Reilly to immediately reinstate funding to this body, so it can continue its good work.

“I understand that there is no money to spare within our healthcare system at the moment. But I think spending a small amount of money to learn a lot about what patients think about our healthcare system could reap dividends. Put simply, this is about saving lives. 

“I am encouraged that Minister Reilly has said he will consider this matter, and I look forward to pursuing it with him further.”

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