Labour calls for MRSA disease designation


The Labour Party has called for the designation of the MRSA superbug as a notifiable disease under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Spokeswoman on Health Liz McManus said that as the antibiotic-resistant superbug can be spread by employees during the course of their work, it should fall under the remit of the Health and Safety Authority.

Under regulations governing notifiable diseases, every occurrence of the bug would have to notified to the Health and Safety Authority.

Ms McManus argued that an improved reporting mechanism was required to provide independent, verifiable figures as to the prevalence of the bug to determine the scale of the problem.

The Labour Party call came after a week in which the Health Service Executive said it was looking at providing counselling for individuals and families affected by MRSA. The confirmation came after the MRSA and Families support group said seven people with the antibiotic-resistant superbug had died in 10 days.