Delayed ‘Grace’ reports due next week, says Finian McGrath

Two previously unpublished reports into the ‘Grace’ foster abuse sex scandal will be published early next week, Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath confirmed yesterday.

He told a Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health that the reports were compiled by Conal Devine Associates and Resilience Ireland.

“Can I say very, very clearly that the Government [is] totally committed to the establishment of a commission of inquiry and there is going to be no fudge on this issue,” he said.

“We are all very committed to Grace, and any other victim by the way, in relation to any allegations of abuse. I intend to get the truth, justice and then action,” the minister said.

Mr McGrath said he has cleared the terms of reference with the Department of Health “and that’s basically on the move”, he said.

The HSE previously refused to publish the two reports detailing what happened and who was responsible in the Grace case, with the decision resulting in a year-long delay to a promised state inquiry.

“The HSE intends to publish the Resilience report and Conal Devine’s report next Tuesday,” said Mr McGrath. He said the terms of reference are with the attorney general’s office at the moment.

Also appearing before the committee, HSE director Tony O’Brien announced that a drug used for the treatment of genetic emphysema — Repreeza — will not be funded by the HSE.

“Based on a clear recommendation from the National Drugs Committee, it is not recommended for reimbursement on clinical grounds,” he said.

The Alpha One Foundation, an advocacy group for people with Alpha-1 (alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency) or genetic emphysema expressed its huge disappointment with the decision.

“Patients are devastated at this decision which, if left to stand, is likely to have a hugely detrimental impact on the future health of these patients,” chief executive Kitty O’Connor said.

The decision not to fund the drug affects 17 patients who had continued to receive the therapy on a compassionate basis after participating in a clinical trial of the drug.

Meanwhile, a target of four months for the treatment of scoliosis has been set by the HSE, with a comprehensive plan in the process of being finalised, according to Mr O’Brien.

He said the HSE is working with the National Treatment Purchase Fund to develop a plan that would see no patients waiting longer than 15 months by the end of October, according to Mr O’Brien.



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