independent

Monday 19 August 2019

'HSE messed up and then sent me the bill'

Lucinda Kelly
Lucinda Kelly
Lucinda Kelly's bill.

By David Tucker

wexford General Hospital has sent a bill to a woman who was called to be re-tested following a faulty colonoscopy, one of hundreds who had to go back for repeat procedures.

'It's absolutely disgraceful, scandalous. I couldn't believe it when I got the bill,' said Lucinda Kelly, from Hill Street.

'It was their mistake in the first place. Now they charging me €75 for the procedure they did wrong,' said Lucinda, adding that she couldn't and would't pay the bill.

It isn't clear how many people have been charged for the repeat procedures, but hundreds were called back -- 118 for screening colonoscopies and 163 for diagnostic colonoscopies - following concerns over the quality of the procedures being carried out.

Diagnostic colonoscopies are those requested by a patient's GP to investigate gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain or bleeding. Screening colonoscopies are carried out on people aged 60-69 who have had a positive home test as part of the HSE's BowelScreen programme.

Lucinda said there were a lot of older people being re-tested when she had her procedure carried out for the second time and she felt many would pay the bills without question.

'How can they charge us.. what about all the worry and concern we had when we were told we had to be tested again?' she said.

Lucinda said she had been given the all-clear following the re-test, 'but, it should have been done right in the first place.'

Ken Mealy, consultant surgeon at Wexford General Hospital, said the re-test process was a precautionary measure and the risk to patients was low.

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