Tanáiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that all 16 recommendations of the HSE's Serious Incident Management Team reviewing the radiology cases at University Hospital Kerry would be implemented.

The review was ordered after three serious reportable events were uncovered at the hospital.

These involved the work of a locum consultant who no longer works at UHK.

Speaking during Leader's Questions in the Dáil, Mr Coveney said that of the 11 patients identified with missed or delayed diagnosis as a result, four have since died.

He added that of the 11 patients, eight had represented to the HSE or their diagnosis was made by a normal multi-disciplinary team and they had been diagnosed by the time the review was under way.

However, he added that a further three were found during the look-back process and diagnosed after.  

He also said that of the follow repeat imageries carried out during the recall, 59 patients were identified as requiring further clinical follow up, and ten patients have been referred to other hospitals.

The matter was raised by Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary who said the expressions of sympathy were not good enough.

Mr Calleary said the Government could not "keep putting their head in the sand" about the volume of consultant vacancies.

Mr Coveney also said the consultant in question resigned and the IMO had been notified of concerns in relation to poor professional conduct and an assessment is under way.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has said that a fifth patient may have died as a result of the misreading of scans at UHK.

Speaking during Leaders' Questions, Mr Doherty said he has spoken to the family of a woman who believe she passed away as a result of issues that were raised in yesterday’s audit.

He said he spoke to the family of a woman who "was told she was part of the review in February but heard nothing after that.

"She has unfortunately since passed away. Will you give assurances that the hospital will engage with her family so that they can get answers that they so desperately need?"

The Tánaiste asked Mr Doherty to provide him with the family's details so that the Department of Health can deal with it.

Mr Coveney also told the Dáil that three legal cases have been issued in relation to patients whose cancer diagnoses were delayed or missed at the hospital.

He said the objective of the State was to deal with patients in a compassionate manner so that they do not have to go to court, but this is not always possible.

"Three legal proceedings have been issued in relation to cases dealt within the report and they are being dealt with by the State Claims Agency," he said.

"It is always the objective of the State to deal in a patient-safety compassionate manner with cases like this to prevent families from having to go to court. That is not always possible but certainly that is what the State Claims Agency will be trying to do."

Mr Doherty said that patients concerned were terminally ill and should not have to go through "this rigmarole, this convoluted legal process so they can get justice."

Additional reporting Mary Regan