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Welcome for £190 payment for pregnant mothers but more needs to be done for pre and post-natal care.

21 January, 2009 - by Sue Ramsey

Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast and member of the Assembly Health Committee, Sue Ramsey, has welcomed the new grant to pregnant mothers of £190. However, Ms Ramsey said that more is needed in order to provide first class pre and post natal services in the north including the building of the regional hospital for women and children.

Speaking today Ms Ramsey said:

"The announcement that pregnant mothers will receive an payment of £190 is to be welcomed. This payment will help benefit mothers to be, as the additional money will assist towards the extra costs incurred in having a baby, especially in today's economic climate.

"Pregnancy is a difficult enough time and many have argued for enhanced measures such extended maternity and paternity leave to be introduced to try and ease the pressure on new mothers and fathers.

"On top of this what we really need to see is the refocusing of our efforts to provide first class maternity and child care facilities including pressing for the new regional hospital for mothers and children at the Royal Hospital.

"The North of Ireland is lagging behind our European counterparts in pre-natal and post-natal care and the building of such a unit is one way of addressing this.

"Its good to see that the financial needs of mothers is recognised by this payment but unfortunate to see that the need for adequate care facilities is not. Michael McGimpsey needs to act now and deliver of his commitments. "

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