Denis Naughten has said that the Prime Time exposé has again highlighted an institutional determination to defend court cases rather than address the concerns of victims of a failed policy or misdiagnosis and support vulnerable children who are reliant on State services.
“The focus of the State’s approach is to defend the existing Departments’ policy approach at all costs instead of acting in the interest of the citizens it is supposed to serve, in this instance, young children,” said Denis Naughten.
“It is absolutely disgusting that it seems at least one use of the information collated was ‘to strategise, to understand the mindset and mood of the families – to help them figure out if it would be a good time to approach them to withdraw their legal cases’.
“It is also clear from the defence of the practice by the Departments concerned that this approach to gathering personal information was common and I believe the State now needs to come clean on whether such methods are used in other cases, including medical negligence cases.
“Is it the case that children or adults, including the children impacted by Pandemrix narcolepsy cases, the audiology misdiagnosis of children in the West or cervical cancer misdiagnosis cases, are being managed in a similar manner?
“We need a full and frank statement from all relevant Government Departments on how such cases are being handled and if the State Claims Agency is fully aware of or employing such practices exposed in last night’s programme.
“This also brings into focus the wider issue of a no-fault compensation scheme for medical negligence and misdiagnosis, which would avoid costly legal cases for many families,” concluded Denis Naughten.