Victims Of Disgraced Obstetrician To Discuss Compensation

Victims of disgraced obstetrician Michael Neary will meet Minister for Health Mary Harney today to discuss a multi-million euro compensation scheme. Up to 250 women had their wombs or ovaries unnecessarily removed by Neary at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda up to 1998.

Representative group Patient Focus said victims, many of whose medical records later went missing, could each be entitled to compensation of between €60,000 and €380,000.

Ms Harney will meet members of Patient Focus to discuss the operation of the scheme, which will also be considered at tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting.

The minister is expected to unveil details at a press conference in Government Buildings afterwards.

The scheme is based on a model drawn up by Judge Maureen Harding Clark, who conducted the Lourdes Hospital Inquiry into the high rate of Caesarean hysterectomies carried out at the hospital between 1974 and 1998.

More than 100 women had their wombs unnecessarily removed while dozens of others underwent unnecessary gynaecological procedures, such as having their ovaries removed.

Patient Focus represents 150 victims but it believes up to 100 other women may also be eligible for compensation.

Patient Focus spokeswoman Sheila O’Connor said that in deciding the amount of compensation, the age of the victim would be considered as well as other factors including the number of children she had at the time of the operation.

“All the damaged women who were patients of Neary must be included in the scheme,” she added.

Neary was suspended by the Irish Medical Council in 1999 and struck off the Register of Medical Practitioners in 2003.