Sister of Charity scandal highlights wider issue of crumbling maternity services – Louise O’Reilly TD
Sinn Féin health spokesperson, Louise O’Reilly TD has called on Minister Simon Harris to confirm whether or not he brought the issue of the ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital to cabinet.
Speaking today Deputy O’Reilly also noted that the scandal has highlighted the wider issue of our crumbling maternity services and called on the Minister to take responsibility.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The Minister for Health needs to step out from behind his laptop and take responsibility for the absolute shambles that is our public maternity services.
“Rhona Mahoney is absolutely right – we cannot continue on with a situation where women and babies are treated in an antiquated, crumbling down building that is not fit for purpose. Equally we cannot continue on with a situation where our maternity hospitals are operating at dangerously low staffing levels, where women are treated on corridors and where overcrowding and a lack of resources result in tragedy and upset.
“The fact that the Sisters of Charity will be gifted the new National Maternity Hospital after their behaviour and treatment of victims is obscene. It is an insult to the victims and survivors of institutional abuse and it should not go ahead.
“We cannot have a situation in which there is potential for any religious ethos to influence clinical decisions. This hospital must carry out treatments such as IVF, sterilisation, gender reassignment surgery and, in some cases, terminations.
“What is equally obscene is the government’s consistent lack of responsibility in the area of women’s health. The two are not mutually exclusive.
“Minister Harris needs to face up to the reality of what is happening in our maternity hospitals every day. He needs to recognise that they are starved of resources. They are understaffed, overcrowded and not fit for purpose. The Minister must implement in full the National Maternity Strategy and he must radically overhaul, invest and recruit the staff necessary to ensure a safe environment for women and babies.”