Patient Safety Bill Legislation passes Dáil hurdle

Legislation ensuring the mandatory open disclosure of adverse incidents during the care of patients has passed a major milestone in the Dáil.

The Patient Safety Bill, which was introduced in the wake of the CervicalCheck controversy, is seen as a major step forward in terms of transparency for patients.

On Wednesday evening, the Dáil agreed on amendments and the proposed legislation will now go forward for further scrutiny in the Seanad.

Labour TD Alan Kelly described the Patient Safety Bill, which passed report stage in the Dáil tonight, as "the most important legislation that I've ever done in my life".

He said that the late Vicky Phelan wanted this legislation "front and centre" and that in their last conversation he gave her a commitment "that we would pass this legislation".

Mr Kelly said the bill was the "core of everything" and "Vicky's legacy".

Sinn Féin's Health spokesperson David Cullinane said he believed the bill would now "pass the Vicky test".

He thanked Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly for the cross-party cooperation to get the legislation passed.

Mr Cullinane also thanked Dr Gabriel Scally for the work that he did, and the 221+ support group.


Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald said: "I want to commend and thank all of them for that work, I think it has been most constructive and very much welcomed by the 221+ group."

The Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall said it was a "very important piece of legislation" but it was also "a very poignant occasion" because of the women who "lost their lives" and those who continue to suffer.

She told the Dáil that everyone was thinking of their families tonight, and the trauma they experienced.

Ms Shortall said the Dáil needed to ensure that "we can't repeat the mistakes of the past" and added the passage of the bill "didn't mean we're there yet".

Minister Donnelly said he wanted to thank all parties, adding: "We're here because of Vicky Phelan [and] many other women who took such a brave stance."

He said it was "important legislation" and was a result of "years of work" by campaigners.

The minister said after the legislation was signed into law by President Higgins, it would all be about implementation.

Additional reporting: David Murphy

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