by MARY MAGEE
Stephen and his wife Janine on their wedding
THE HUSBAND of Janine Murtagh, the Crumlin
woman who died after a routine bowel operation at the Royal
Victoria Hospital in October 2002, has said he will continue to
seek answers on why she lost her life.
Stephen Murtagh was speaking after a
Department of Health report last week found doctors had failed
to respond promptly to early warning signs that the condition of
the 31-year-olc nurse was deteriorating. It said she had died
due to a 'systems failure' and no individual could be held to
account for her death.
There have now been two reports and an
inquest into Janine's death. A report commissioned by former
Health Minister Angela Smith by the Regulation and Quality
Improvement Authority made a total of 11 recommendations to
prevent a repeat of the tragedy.
But speaking after meeting senior Department
of Health civil servant Dr Andrew McCormick, Mr Murtagh said he
wanted an acknowledgement that it was not just a 'systems
And he said he would like to see those who
had been involved given retraining to prevent the possibility of
"We will pursue this and will continue to
pursue this and will be meeting with the Minister if we do not
get answers" he said. "This was not only a failure of a delivery
of care for Janine but it is about a delivery of care for other
women in the future. It is all about trust and that trust was
broken with Janine.
"This has been going on now for six years and
we are entitled to answers. These major concerns have still not
It is causing further distress and makes a
difficult situation even more difficult." Mr Murtagh is planning
to meet Health Minister Michael McGimpsey later this year.
"We have no choice but to pursue this for the
sake of Janine," he said. "Janine's family and I are a very
determined bunch of people. We know what happened to Janine but
issues have to be made public."
The Royal Victoria Hospital has previously
apologised for the death of Mrs Murtagh, who was a nurse at the