A corrosive culture - Honesty works

HEALTH Minister Leo Varadkar yesterday forcefully criticised how parents of babies who died at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise were treated, but his assertion yesterday — that parents of babies who died at the hospital “were not dealt with honestly” — must have implications beyond what is usual in these circumstances. Earlier in the week, he that said he was “ashamed” of how patients were treated.

Speaking on RTÉ, Mr Varadkar said it was important to establish a culture where hospital clinicians at all levels were honest about mistakes made. That seems an obvious first step but it is more than distressing that an honest response to valid queries is not automatic. Why is this the case?

Though our hospitals are in the firing line this week, that same attitude seems to run right through our public service and, tragically, the determination to change that culture seems absent. This undermines public confidence in how we conduct our public affairs and corrodes the unity upon which all good societies depend.

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