herald

Saturday 25 October 2014

Hundreds still in dark over Hep C scare

HUNDREDS of women treated by a doctor infected with the deadly Hepatitis C virus are still being kept in the dark by the HSE.

No helpline has been set up by the health authority to deal with concerned members of the public and women treated by the infected obstetrician-gynaecologist have yet to be told about his condition.

The HSE is still refusing to issue a list of the hospitals where the doctor worked as a locum amid claims that it does not appear to know how many patients could be affected.

It was also unable to specify how many patients he had treated and what kind of treatments he carried out during his time working here.

In response to a query from the Herald, a spokesperson confirmed that patients had not yet been contacted and said they "will be notified if the expert group concludes that there is any possibility that patients are at risk".

But pressure is continuing to pile on the beleaguered health system to reveal more details of the situation.

Positive Action has called on the HSE to give full information and offer tests to anyone potentially at risk to rule out infection. The group represents men, women and children infected with Hepatitis C through contaminated blood products supplied by the State.

Birth

Detta Warnock, of the group, who was infected with Hepatitis C through a contaminated anti-D injection when she gave birth to her first child in May 1977, has called for all patients of the doctor to be told about his status and to be tested.

The HSE said it had only been informed in recent days that the doctor in question tested positive for Hepatitis C.

The health authority would not give details of how the doctor's infection came to light or how long the consultant was in Ireland.

hnews@herald.ie

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