Dáil call for Limerick Hospital management to step down

Independent TD Richard O'Donoghue speaking in the Dáil.

ANGRY calls were made in the Dáil yesterday (Thursday) for the management of University Hospital Limerick to step down, alleging that there are “cover ups,” and claims that 70 doctors who wrote  a letter, warning of dangers to patients have been silenced.

Limerick Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue made the call during Taoiseach’s question time.  He said “the management team should step down and prosecutions be brought if needed.”

In a scathing attack on the hospital he alleged that there have been “cover ups” and that more than 70 doctors who wrote an open letter, warning of dangers to the lives of patients, have “been silenced”.

The letter highlights several “near misses” at the hospital’s acute medical unit where doctors say patients almost died due to understaffing and a lack of medical cover.

It says patients have to wait more than ten hours for a bed in the unit without any medical attention while other “lost” patients are sometimes left unseen by a doctor for a number of days.

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Deputy O’Donoghue also alleged that “paperwork has been tampered with,” in the case of the death of Jessica Sheedy, a Limerick teenager who died after routine surgery at UHL in 2018.

He told the Dail chamber, “for the safety of patients and health-care workers,” there should be an investigation into the workings of the hospital and “get the management team to step down.”

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar was standing in for the Taoiseach, who is in France on an official visit with President Emmanuel Macron.

The Tanaiste said that he acknowledges “that the situation at the hospital is grave,” but added that the hospital management “are employed as public servants.

“They are entitled to have their good name protected and to have complaints heard fairly,” he added.

He urged Deputy O’Donoghue “if he has any evidence of cover ups, to make them available to the regulatory authority.”