Health Minister Extends Sympathy Over Missed Cancers In Wexford


A leading oncologist says he is confident that cancer cases will not be missed by clinicians in the future.

Ray Mc Dermott from St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin was speaking after a review of around 600 colonoscopies at Wexford General was called.

The Ireland East Hospital Group – which manages Wexford General – says a report on the matter is currently being finalised.

However it’s been reported the review identifies a number of missed cancers, including one probable avoidable death.

Dr Ray Mc Dermott says the issue of missed diagnoses is rare:

“I’d be fairly confident that…this wouldn’t…happen in the future” he said.

“You can always, you can always have…cases where…individual human error happens and that will always happen in medicine unfortunately, it’s part of everyday practice”

“But I don’t believe it’s going to happen on a widespread basis” he added.

Mayor of Wexford Ger Carthy has called for a special helpline to be set up for people who took part in the Bowel Screen programme at Wexford General Hospital.

Meanwhile the Minister for Health says there’s no evidence to suggest that there is any other case like this.

Leo Varadkar has moved to reassure people – who are called for bowel screening – that they should continue to do so:

“What I can reassure people is that we’ve absolutely…no evidence whatsoever…that this has occured anywhere else” he said”

“I want to extend my sympathies to the dozen or so people affected…their families particularly, probable death that might be avoided had…this been picked up much sooner”

“What’s now being done is…the recall of the 600 patients, that’s almost complete, there’s only one more patient…to be restested”

“What we now need to do, which is the most important thing, is quality assurance and systems review” he added.


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