Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Call to restore Monaghan Hospital services after another roadside birth

27 April, 2011 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Health & Children spokesperson and Cavan-Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said there is “anger again across Co. Monaghan” that yet another roadside birth has taken place, minutes from Monaghan General Hospital but miles from Cavan General Hospital, the only maternity services provided by the Department of Health and the HSE in Counties Monaghan and Cavan.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

“Last Thursday, Holy Thursday, a little girl was born in a car that had to pull in at the side of the road at Smithboro while en route to Cavan General Hospital. A very short labour saw the birth of a baby girl.

“Her brother assisted the woman to safely deliver her little girl, her second child. The family speak highly of the ambulance crew who arrived within ten minutes of being summoned and praise the care provided to mother and baby in Cavan General Hospital. But the family are furious that the pregnant woman was placed in this situation by the closure of Maternity services at Monaghan General Hospital back in 2001.

“I was contacted by the family on Good Friday and asked to highlight this latest roadside birth in Co. Monaghan.

“There is considerable anger that yet another almost full-term young woman in Co. Monaghan was forced to attempt the long and difficult journey to Cavan.

“The mother lives some ten to twelve minutes drive from Monaghan General Hospital, yet she was obliged to face the fifty minute plus journey to Cavan General Hospital. Thankfully on this occasion both mother and baby are well. It has not always been this fortunate. It is simply not good enough that there is no service or assistance available, in appropriate conditions, particularly when a baby is already on the way, at Monaghan General Hospital.

“We have now had a full decade of women being turned away from Monaghan Hospital, a once proud General Hospital facility, including excellent maternity services. It is long past time that this service, and others removed over the years, were restored to Monaghan Hospital.

“I urge all Co. Monaghan citizens to write to public representatives and to the new Minister for Health, Dr. James Reilly, urging the restoration of Obstetrics and Gynaecology to Monaghan Hospital and as an interim measure, to allow for the presentation of women in labour to Monaghan Hospital rather than face the prospect of a roadside birth with all the risks that that entails.”

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