RTÉ is glad that, contrary to their previous stated position, the Department of Health has confirmed that it did hold confidential medical and educational information on children with autism that families were not aware of, under questioning by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health. At no point has RTÉ Investigates suggested this was illegal, nor did it claim that the Department of Health had only obtained this material directly.
RTÉ stands by its journalism in this report. It’s untrue to suggest that the Department of Health was not invited to participate by RTÉ Investigates. RTÉ wrote to the Department of Health on the 11th of March, two full weeks ahead of broadcast, to put the allegations to them. It’s also untrue to say there is no basis for what RTÉ Investigates reported. The truth matters. The point remains that the Department held sensitive information on vulnerable individuals that can only have originated in confidential consultations those individuals and their families had with medical professionals. Today’s session at the Oireachtas Health Committee proves that the Department of Health did hold medical and educational information on children which families were not aware of.