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Sinn Féin call for rollout of stand-alone Midwife Led Maternity Units

10 February, 2004

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has re-iterated Sinn Fein's call for the rollout of Midwife Led Maternity Units. Mr O'Dowd said:

"During a recent meeting with Angela Smith I questioned the Minster on when we would be likely to see a decision on the future introduction of Midwife Led Maternity Units. The decision is now expected in April.

"I also urged the Minister to come out in favour of stand-alone units and to introduce a 3 year pilot scheme followed by evaluation, the preferred option of the Royal College of Midwives.

"Midwives are highly trained medical professionals who can offer expectant mothers an excellent services and support both throughout their term and in after care for mother and baby.

"The stand-alone units have proven to be very successful throughout the 26 counties and also in Britain where units are expending due to demand. Stand-alone Midwife Led Maternity Units are viewed as vitally important throughout Europe in attempts to reduce the level of medical intervention in the natural process of pregnancy and childbirth.

"Stand-alone Units would prove especially beneficial in the Mid Ulster area where Hospital maternity cover has been withdrawn. These units would offer expectant mothers a safe and professional option closer to home." ENDS

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