Beaumont – Why Cover Up?

This state has a culture of official secrecy. The Free State inherited this from the British in 1922. Fast forward to 2011. The HSE has operated in a very closed manner yet has a considerable number of PR people on the payroll. Other than patient confidentiality, secrecy regarding the operations of publically owned hospitals is never in the public interest.

Beaumont and other publically owned facilities have a culture of corporatism that is anathama to openness and effectiveness.

The Controller and Auditor General issued a report on the car park building at Beaumont which was highly critical of waste and methodology. The out-patient queues and the high number of medically discharged patients in the hospital which peaked at around 130 brings into sharp focus why information control is far better than pressure to discuss the solutions openly. The organisation cost and efficiency of having 42 Consultant Surgeons who between them have access in theory to 119 beds is another probably thorny issue. The absence of a second cardiac angio suite has consequences which are not in the public interest. The separation of Poisons Information from the Toxicology Laboratory cannot be sensible. Other issues like post mortem policy and organ transplants only came into the public arena by serendipathy.

The new consultant contract religates consultant doctors to the status of NCHD Registrar and sops to patient advocacy are the minimum recognition of medical profession autonomy.

The current Beaumont Hospital policy was circulated to all the staff last week. I wonder why?

Medical ethics dictate the discussion of patient details in public because medical confidentiality is a key issue in medical professionalism and is recognised world wide. The Irish rules are set out in the ethical guide published by the Medical Council. Because of electronic communications and electronic patient record true medical confidentiality is constantly being put at risk and in effect being undermined. It is the same in the banking industry.

Please note that Beaumont has PR employees and spends a considerable amount of money on lawyers.

To view the Media Policy, please click here.