28 May 2022

'The ultimate breach of trust': Kildare TD releases statement on alleged sexual abuse controversy at Naas General Hospital

'The ultimate breach of trust': Kildare TD releases statement on alleged sexual abuse controversy at Naas General Hospital

File pic: Naas hospital

A TD from Kildare has released a statement on the alleged sexual abuse controversy at Naas General Hospital.

It follows after RTÉ Investigates reported that three separate investigations are currently underway following reports of alleged sexual assault incidents that occurred at the hospital, that are said to have perpetrated by one Dr Aamir Zuberi.

A Prime Time programme that detailed the alleged incidents also aired last night on RTÉ at 9:30pm.

Sinn Féin member Réada Cronin TD said about the news: "My first thoughts are with the man known as Michael, and with his wife and family for the trauma they are enduring after these revelations of suspected abuse while under anaesthetic: it is the ultimate breach of trust."

"Now, Naas General Hospital has a duty of care to engage in a detailed, retrospective examination of all the cases this anaesthetist was involved in."

The Kildare-North politician added that the HSE has an equal duty of care to undertake "a similar detailed, retrospective examination of cases in other hospitals or healthcare settings" in which Dr Zuberi worked. 

Ms Cronin also referenced disgraced doctors Michael Neary and Michael Shine, both of whom worked at the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda: "20 years after the appalling situation in Drogheda, where lessons were supposedly learned, this suspected abuse in our own community hospital has come to light."

"I hope we will not hear any organisational or institutional nonsense about  ‘learning curves’ or ‘learnings’ because in this State, people have such bitter, personal experience of apparently-little being learned by institutions at all... Good action is what is needed, not fine words.

"Whistleblowers have been treated badly in this state and I hope the staff members who came forward in this instance are being treated well and given every assistance."

She also said that it is an "extremely difficult" time for workers at Naas General Hospital, especially over the last two years of Covid, and called on the Kildare community to rally behind them. 

Ms Cronin added: "I thank Aoife Hegarty and RTÉ for bringing this to light and KFM for its excellent radio coverage: this is real public-service broadcasting.

"I will do everything I can to help anyone affected and am always here for the people of North Kildare," she concluded.

Health Service Executive (HSE) Statement:

In a statement yesterday afternoon, the HSE said the hospital can confirm that they have contacted and have been in communication with three patients affected and tried unsuccessfully to contact the fourth. The hospital are available at any time to talk to this person.

It further stated that the hospital take allegations of this nature very seriously and is fully engaged with the Gardaí . In addition, Naas General Hospital have a strict reporting policy for its staff and where a serious allegation is raised they follow the Trust in Care Policy and take their responsibilities in that regard very seriously.

This policy, the HSE added, is about upholding the dignity and welfare of patient/clients and the procedure for managing allegations of abuse against staff members. In addition, where appropriate, they refer the allegations to An Garda Siochana and the Medical Council.

The health service is committed to promoting the well-being of patients/clients and providing a caring environment where they are treated with dignity and respect. Health service employers are also highly committed to their staff and to providing them with the necessary supervision, support and training to enable them to provide the highest standards of care.

The HSE said anyone who is concerned and and would like to contact Naas General Hospital, you can do so by calling 045-849570  from 9am to 5pm (Mon – Friday).

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