Labour TD Arthur Spring has said a new HIQA report which states that patients at Kerry General hospital are at high risk of contracting Legionnaire’s disease is ‘shocking’.
“This situation at Tralee Hospital, as exposed in the latest HIQA inspection report, is shocking and completely inappropriate.
“This hospital not only serves Kerry but also West Cork and West Limerick as well. There are simply too many patients at risk, and it is unsustainable.
“While HIQA did note improvements have been made since they flagged certain problems to hospital management in July, the report states that ’substantive’ risks remain to maintenance, hand hygiene practice, hand hygiene facilities and hospital infrastructure.
“There are also concerns that risks relating to Legionnaire’s disease have not been properly addressed, and said the hospital must improve its approach to the management of those risks.
“The issues raised in the report need to be rectified immediately so that patient confidence is sustained and the integrity of the hospital reinstated.
“Hospital Management report that works costing €9.3 million are essential throughout the hospital and this money shouldbe provided from the supplementary health budget or from the capital expenditure programme. I intend to raise the matter with the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar immediately to see what can be done to expedite the improvement of the identified problem. He recently visited the hospital and it is unfortunate that the situation wasn’t raised with him then by management.”