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All pregnant women should have access to foetal anomaly scans

3 May, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD


Sinn Féin health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said that all pregnant women should have access to foetal anomaly screening at 20 weeks pregnancy.

The Sinn Féin PMB motion this week would ensure all maternity hospitals have access to foetal anomaly screening with the requisite staff and equipment.

Speaking today O’Reilly said:

“Most of the 19 maternity units do not offer foetal anomaly screening, as prenatal ultrasound assessment by qualified sonographers and foetal medicine specialists is not available outside larger units.

“Only six of the 19 maternity units in the state have this facility available. And even then, these scans are not routinely provided or offered.

“This goes against the national maternity strategy priority to have nationally consistent, woman-centred care. Women are not being offered this scan or being advised of its availability and only some women will have access to it.

“Women need this scan to see if there are any issues or problems with their pregnancies, but they can’t get the scan unless a medical issue has been identified. We have seen harrowing cases where the failure to have this scan has resulted in tragedy and women and their partners being unable to prepare adequately for the birth. This is not acceptable.

“The Sinn Féin motion would ensure that all maternity hospitals have access to foetal anomaly screening with the requisite staff and equipment. I am asking all TDs to stand up for women’s health and support this important motion.”

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