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IHCA questions release of mortality statistics

21 Aug 2013

Donal Duffy, IHCA

By Dara Gantly.

The IHCA has questioned plans by the Minister for Health to publish in future the morbidity and mortality figures of individual consultants.

The move was signalled by Minister James Reilly during a speech at the MacGill Summer School in Donegal on July 31.

At the meeting, the Minister said that under its Future Health reform programme, the Government would publish on the Internet individual consultants’ waiting lists, morbidity and mortality figures.

Responding to the speech, IHCA Assistant Secretary General Donal Duffy said that the Association was in favour of patients receiving all information relevant to making an informed decision about their care programme. “We welcome the Minister’s proposal to publish waiting list figures for individual consultants, which will provide further evidence that the demands on our healthcare system currently exceed the capacity available.”

However, Duffy believed plans to publish morbidity and mortality rates for individual consultants would not, in its proposed form, help patients make informed decisions.

“Healthcare is increasingly delivered by multidisciplinary teams, often across different hospital sites within networks,” he said. “To link morbidity and mortality to one particular factor or individual involved in a patient’s care may not be the most appropriate way to reassure patients of the safety of their hospital or hospital group.”

21 August 2013

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times