The Reilly File – Episode 1. Roscommon

The following appeared in the Irish Independent today.

“according to statistics from a draft report, the mortality rates for patients with heart problems in the past three years were 5.8pc for University Hospital Galway compared to 21.3pc in Roscommon. That meant that for every 100 people who attended each hospital with a heart problem, an average of five would die in Galway but an average of 20 would die in Roscommon.

Dr Reilly revealed the statistics last night during a Dail debate calling on the Government to retain accident and emergency departments at local hospitals such as Roscommon.

“The statistics in it are rough statistics but some of them are so startling, I don’t think you can really ignore them,” he said.

Commentary – Could the minister tell the public what are “rough statistics”? The details of this claim needs full ventilation. Is there a like-for-like comparison? Are the statistics taken from HIPE data validated from death certification? Is this “in patients only at Roscommon hospital”? Is chronic heart failure dead at home included in both counts? Is this only acute myocardial infarction? Is primary angioplasty offered to every patient in Galway? What is the role of thrombolytics in the area? How accurate is the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry Data (HIPE) for both institutions?

Is the patient referral for cardiology from Roscommon prioritised in Galway?

Is primary angioplasty for Myocardial Infarction the norm at Mayo General, Portiuncula, Sligo and Galway hospitals? What are the death rates for each of these institutions within thye same disease definitions?