Vomit bug Dublin hotel billed Derry OAPs for phoning doctor
Two Northern Ireland pensioners at a hotel forced to shut its kitchen due to an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug were billed for phoning a doctor.
More than 100 people attending Christmas functions and cabaret shows at the Regency Hotel in Drumcondra, Dublin, complained of illness and vomiting just over a week ago.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) later identified the outbreak as the contagious winter vomiting bug, known as norovirus, according to hotel manager John Glynn.
A HSE inspector was called in on Monday, December 12, the food and beverage service was shut down and contract cleaners brought in to decontaminate the building.
Mr Glynn said he expects the hotel to resume full service shortly.
Philomena Kelly (70) and her sister Elizabeth McGeehan (67), from Maghera, Co Derry, had booked into the hotel as a Christmas treat to see the cabaret show on December 8.
Mrs Kelly said they fell ill late on Friday evening, December 9, and in the early hours of the morning they rang reception looking for a doctor as they were "so sick" and "frightened".
The doctor arrived before 8am, gave them an injection and prescribed medicine to stop the nausea.
Mrs Kelly said they paid the doctor €140. They then went down to reception to check out. She said they were billed 51c for each phone call to the doctor and over €40 for the prescription.
She said they were unhappy with the way they had been treated as no staff members had checked on them although they were aware they were sick.
Mr Glynn said it would automatically be the responsibility of the guest to pay for medicines and a doctor.