Green Party call on Taoiseach to open investigation in Waterford mortuary claims
The Green Party is calling on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to launch an investigation into claims made by consultants about the conditions at the mortuary at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and treat their claims with the seriousness they deserve.
Following the release last week of the text of a letter to HSE management from four consultant pathologists at Waterford University Hospital (UHW), the Taoiseach said it was “certainly a strange story.” He said he didn’t “know if the claims were true or not, but there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support them.”
Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan, from Waterford, is leading the Green Party in calling for the Taoiseach’s statement to be withdrawn.
“The Taoiseach’s statement is staggering. He needs to take these consultants at their word and find out what is going wrong and fix it. The Irish Hospital Consultants Association have come out in support of the consultants. It is not good enough to dismiss what they are saying as having ‘no evidence’ when no one independent has been tasked with looking into this," she said.
“This is how I see it: Last October, four UHW consultant pathologists wrote a letter to the South/ Southwest Hospital Group (SSWHG) outlining disturbing details around the conditions bodies are being stored in at Waterford UHW mortuary. The SSWHG didn’t respond to or investigate these claims until a story broke in the news."
“The buck stops with management and it is inappropriate for the Taoiseach to make such categorical statements ahead of any meaningful investigation.”
Senator O’Sullivan, the Green Party MEP candidate for Ireland South, met with Professor Rob Landers ahead of a meeting with Waterford Oireachtas members, UHW management and representatives of SSWHG last week.
“Professor Landers and the mortician on duty showed me around and I saw first-hand the woefully inadequate facilities at the UHW mortuary."
"Rather than HSE management and the Taoiseach putting all their energy into discrediting the consultants, perhaps they should have responded to the consultants appeal for urgent action when it was requested, not as a reflex action when it broke in the media."
“The one area the UHW management, SSWHG, the Taoiseach and the consultants are in agreement on is that conditions in the mortuary are not up to standard.”