Sunday 16 December 2018

Minister fears risks of hospital infections

THE risk of cross infection in crowded hospital A&E departments is to be reviewed by the Health Information Quality Authority.

Health Minister Dr James Reilly says he has been in touch with the HIQA "on this important issue".

Dr Reilly says he remains concerned at the potential risk to patients in overcrowded emergency departments and has discussed the issue with both his own Government department and the HSE to see what further immediate action can be taken to reduce this potential risk.

Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) continued to be a challenge for healthcare systems worldwide and Ireland was not unique in this regard, said the minister.

"Tackling HCAIs here continues to be a priority for the Government and for the Health Service Executive," he added.

The A&E crisis will be top of the agenda for the newly formed Dail Public Accounts Committee at its first meeting on Thursday week.

HSE chief executive Cathal Magee will appear before the committee, which is to examine the recent Comptroller and Auditor General's report on emergency departments.

The committee says it will be discussing why 23 of the 33 hospital emergency departments around the country experience delays in accessing senior medical decision-makers.

The meeting will also look at the waiting times for beds for patients who have come through accident and emergency departments and need to be hospitalised.


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