OVERCROWDING, lack of hygiene, risk of infection and “appalling” standards of care.
These were just some of the damning claims levelled at hospitals by members of the public during August.
Public forum Rate My Hospital.ie, which is run by Irishhealth.com, allows people to complete a survey and post comments on both public and private hospitals.
Since it was set up in 2007, more than 17,000 surveys have been taken.
Last month, a woman claimed she was not offered any pain relief and almost gave birth in the treatment room of the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar.
“As it was a busy time in the labour wards, I very nearly had my baby [who was in distress] in a treatment room. No types of pain relief were offered to me as no labour wards were available,” she said.
“After being rushed to the labour ward I gave birth to my daughter, who luckily was fine. I was due to have an injection before the birth because of a heart condition, but this was forgotten about. I wanted to breast feed but no midwife was available. I was lucky to have one when I gave birth.”
A patient of Cork University Maternity Hospital described it as a “disgrace, dirty, smelly and the attitude towards patients is unspeakable”.
One woman said CUMH was not big enough for the number of patients and was “shockingly designed” with rubbish bags left on the corridor.
However, not all the comments posted are negative, and many users also praised hospital staff and treatment.
Top of the list for positive results over the past year were private hospitals Aut Even Hospital and the Whitfield clinic. Top public hospitals were St John’s hospital, Limerick, and Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital.
At the bottom of the list were Midwestern Regional, Ennis; University College Hospital, Galway; and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.
Irishhealth.com publisher John Gibbons said the site was not intended to be a stick with which to beat the Irish health system.
“All comments are manually screened to block unfair or slanderous statements,” he said.
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