Press Release

New payment scheme for patients of Dr Neary to help bring closure for women who suffered appalling consequences – Minister Reilly

Today (11 November 2013), Dr James Reilly, TD, Minister for Health, announced that approximately 35 women, excluded on age grounds alone from the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme in 2007, would be provided with ex gratia awards, which would bring final closure on the issue for them.

The Minister said “While I am glad to announce that Government is delivering on its commitment in the Programme for Government to compensate those women who were excluded on age grounds alone from the Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme, I am much more pleased to be able to start what I hope will be the road to closure for these ladies who suffered so much through no fault of their own. The consequences these women suffered as a result of being patients of Dr Neary were appalling and insult was added to injury by their exclusion from the redress scheme.”

The Minister also gave credit to Patient Focus, which has worked tirelessly for these women, to ensure that their needs were taken into account. The Minister acknowledged that, “thanks to the help of Patient Focus, my Department, in conjunction with the State Claims Agency, has devised a scheme to help bring closure to the matter for these women.”

Government agreed to the terms of the Lourdes Hospital Payment Scheme in July this year. The Scheme, which will be administered by the State Claims Agency, commences on 12 November, 2013.

The Lourdes Hospital Payment Scheme will cover former patients of Dr Neary who underwent a bilateral oophorectomy, or removal of a remaining single functioning ovary, performed when a patient was aged 40 years or over, which rendered her immediately menopausal and which was medically unwarranted.

Details and application forms for the new scheme are available from:

Lourdes Hospital Payment Scheme
Treasury Building
Grand Canal Street
Dublin 2.
Tel: + 353 (0)1 238 4370

Email: lourdespaymentscheme@ntma.ie

ENDS

Further information for editors:

The Lourdes Hospital Redress Scheme was established in 2007, following the findings and recommendations in the Report of the Lourdes Hospital Inquiry into peripartum hysterectomy, which was published in 2006. The Inquiry was conducted by Judge Maureen Harding Clark.

This Inquiry found that there were patients who had undergone a clinically unnecessary bilateral oophorectomy. This involves the removal of both ovaries, or a remaining single functioning ovary at the time of obstetric hysterectomy, or as a gynaecological procedure. These women lost the ability to reproduce and suffered immediate surgical menopause.

Government at that time approved a non-statutory, ex-gratia Scheme of Redress for those women. Awards were determined by an independent Redress Board in 2007 and 2008, which was chaired by Judge Harding Clark. It provided compensation to former patients of Dr Neary who had unnecessary obstetric hysterectomies, that is hysterectomies carried out in association with pregnancy, and also to women under 40 years of age who underwent unnecessary bilateral oophorectomies.

The gross cost of the Scheme was €20.6 million. The current extension of the scheme will cost around €4million. Women who meet the criteria under the Scheme will be entitled to sums between €60,000 and €100,000.