HIQA independence in question

TWO families who triggered the independent review of services at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Ennis are furious no one has been held accountable…The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) found it was unable to blame anyone because of a lack of clarity around local accountability and the authority to make decisions (Irish Examiner).

Once again a so called independent investigation into death within the HSE has been unable to hold anyone to account. I don’t think anybody really expected anything better. After so many other whitewash reports why would anyone think this one would be any different?

We’ve had the usual waffle from bureaucrats and politicians who have employed the usual cynical strategies to protect their backs.

A particularly nasty but common strategy is to supply the report to the victims just hours before its publication. This means they have no time to read it in detail and as we’re heading into a long weekend it will be old news by next Tuesday.

Mary Harney had promised to supply the report to the families of the victims before publication; she did so, at 11.30 on the morning of publication. It’s difficult to get more ruthlessly cynical than that.

This is in stark contrast to how the State favours the Catholic Church. The Dublin Archdiocese Commission of Investigation into clerical sex abuse is due for publication in May or June but Archbishop Martin and others have already been given a copy of the report so that they can prepare their response to what is said to be an absolutely shocking litany of abuse (Irish Examiner).

A solicitor for one of the families involved in the Ennis hospital misdiagnosis scandal said that the report seemed to have a political agenda connected to the downgrading of hospitals.

This was put to the chief executive officer of HIQA, Dr. Tracey Cooper, on the Six One News (1st report, 4th item) yesterday, she replied:

“As an independent authority we’re established to take work independently from the rest of the system. What’s driven the findings of the investigation is that it isn’t about political agenda’s; it isn’t about territorialism of local hospitals.

It is about the fact that international evidence is very clear that patients that require emergency care, specialist care have to be treated in care by people who see sufficient volumes of patients with those types of conditions to keep their skills up to date.”

This statement could have been taken straight out of Mary Harney’s files so close is it to government (political) policy regarding the downgrading of hospitals.

The merits of this policy have been widely debated throughout the media but why is this so called independent authority that was supposed to be investigating the deaths of two patients by misdiagnosis, parroting Government policy as a justification for its conclusions?

Is HIQA independent? I don’t think so.

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One thought on “HIQA independence in question”

  1. “Lack of accountability”? Nothing new there. Lack of accountability is the hallmark of this government. If there is one thing the HSE and every other agency of this government are good at, it’s passing the buck. I wonder how much this insightful report by the HIQA cost us tax payers. My prayers are with the families of the two women who became innocent victims of institutional incompetence, complacency, and ruthless bureaucratic maliciousness.
    Sadly they are not the first, and they unfortunately won’t be the last. Because this country does not learn from it’s mistakes.

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