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HIQA report not disputed-Varadkar
26 Mar 2015 22:10
Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said that to the best of his knowledge, no one in his department is disputing the draft HIQA report into the Midland Regional Hospital at Portlaoise.
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He also said that everyone realised that maternity services in Portlaoise were "not up to scratch".
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The draft report has led to a major dispute between the HSE which runs the Portlaoise hospital and the health service safety watchdog HIQA.
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The HSE alleges that the draft report is unfair and inaccurate, and has considered legal action to prevent publication of the report in its current form.
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The draft report is also understood to contain criticism of the Department of Heath.
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Asked whether his department accepted the findings of the draft report, or whether it shared the same concerns as the HSE, Mr Varadkar said that draft reports by their very nature include inaccuracies and the process now under way is a process of checking the facts before it is published.
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He said that contact was ongoing between the HSE and HIQA to check the facts, but he anticipates it being published in the next couple of weeks.
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He also noted that there was no criticism of him in the report.
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He said the most important thing for the families affected and the people who live in Laois and the surrounding counties was that they were not waiting around for yet another report on Portlaoise to take action to strengthen the hospital.
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