There can be no excuse for what happened to the families of babies who died at Portlaoise hospital according to the Minister for Justice, Equality an Law Reform Alan Shatter
In an address to the Family Lawyers Association of Ireland the Minister also announced that he and Minister for Health James Reilly have commenced work on preparation of “open disclosure” legislation in the health service.
Minister Shatter said families can experience many difficulties, including the tragedy of losing a loved one where there is a “catastrophic failure by our health service”.
“There can be no valid excuse for the manner in which some families were treated by Portlaoise Hospital as disclosed in recent days.
He said tThe distress caused to families through lapses in medical care should not be magnified by the conduct of hospitals and State authorities.
“Families should not face further and ongoing hardship caused by hospitals and State bureaucracies refusing to engage and acknowledge fault where it properly and obviously rests with them.
Minister Shatter said he was working with his colleague James Reilly on making change.
“The Minister for Health and I have commenced work with a view to enshrining the principles of open disclosure in legislation.
“I believe that if hospitals were to investigate an incident and to admit liability quickly once medical negligence had been established, such reform would be much more beneficial to families,” said the justice minister.