LOUTH Sinn Fein TD Gerry Adams has called on the Taoiseach to “instigate an inquiry into the sexual abuse of patients in the Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda”.
Mr Adams made the call for the inquiry after Dignity4Patients published a survey into the relationship between healthcare workers and the public.
Speaking during Leaders questions Mr Adams said: “There are sexual abusers in all sectors of our society. Taoiseach there are sexual abusers in families. My father was a sexual abuser. So I have some sense of the anguish and the pain that these citizens are going through.”
The survey of 100 people revealed that 95 per cent of respondents believe healthcare authorities have not done enough to raise awareness of the risk of abuse of patients.
Almost one in five people also claimed that they have been victims of some type of inappropriate action or comment by healthcare professionals.
Dignity4Patients is a support and advocacy group for patients or former patients. The survey carried out for the group revealed that 84% said they would not feel very confident in challenging a health worker’s opinion.
Meanwhile, 78% said they were not aware of their rights when undergoing medical examinations. Dignity4Patients has repeatedly called for an inquiry into allegations of patient abuse and the development of clear mandatory guidelines and policies in relation to patient examination.
Bernadette Sullivan, the Executive Director of Dignity4Patients, was critical of the failure by the Health authorities and successive governments over 17 years to hold an appropriate inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse of patients.