According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act and published in today’s Irish Independent, its claimed that a cancer patient suffering the side effects of chemotherapy was placed in a Covid-19 ward at Mayo University Hospital.

In details of the complaint, lodged by a relative of the patient, it is claimed that the man, who is an oncology patient, arrived at the ED OF Mayo University Hospital on May 1st last,  and was admitted to a Covid-19 ward where there were five Covid-19 patients.

He had according to the complaint "arrived at the hospital as a very vulnerable patient with a very serious underlying illness and a compromised immune system". He was not displaying any Covid-19 symptoms”.

The complainant alleges that the man was moved into an isolation ward later that same evening. However, by that time he had already been according to the complaint been  "exposed to the coronavirus, unprotected, for an extended period of time".

On May 4, when the complaint was made, the man was in self-isolation back at his own home. His daughter, who accompanied him to the hospital and entered the Covid-19 ward, was also self-isolating.

It is claimed that both the cancer patient and his daughter were not given any protective equipment for hours. Later they were given what they term "basic masks".

The complaint states that the man's "safety, health and life is now at serious risk" due to a failure by the hospital to implement "the most basic safety protocols".

The complaint was sent to Mayo University Hospital (MUH) manager Catherine Donohoe as well as to the Department of Health, for the attention of chief medical officer Tony Holohan.

Correspondence shows that on May 5, Declan Whelan, from the Cancer Policy Unit in the Department of Health, asked the hospital for an update on the complaint as a "matter of urgency".

Concerns about segregation procedures at the hospital have been raised by local councillors and TDs in the Mayo area.

Last month, then health minister Simon Harris requested a report from HSE chief executive Paul Reid on the Covid-19 measures taken at MUH from the outset of the pandemic. That report, if completed, has not yet been published.

The details of the cancer patient complaint were outlined in a Freedom of Information request submitted by Aontú. Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín has  called for an update on the progress of the report commissioned by Mr Harris.

The Saolta Hospitals Group, in reponse to questions about the details of the complaint said it cannot comment on individual cases


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