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Shortcomings in Maternity Services must be ended – O’Reilly

28 April, 2017 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD published a Sinn Féin motion calling on the Government to honour its commitments in the Programme for a Partnership Government to fund and implement the National Maternity Strategy.

Deputy O’Reilly said that “it was imperative that ensure to the new National Maternity Hospital is built on the St. Vincent’s Hospital campus as quickly as possible, remains entirely within public ownership, and has legally guaranteed independence from all non-medical influence in its clinical operations within the laws of the State”.

The Dublin Fingal TD continued:

“Ireland has the lowest number of consultant obstetricians per 100,000 women in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and a consultant obstetrician in Ireland is responsible for 597 births per annum, compared to 268 in Scotland. This is a startling contrast that highlights the challenge that our health professionals must overcome every day.

“Two key approaches are needed before we can move forward. Firstly, we must ensure the swift approval, dissemination and implementation of the National Maternity Standards for Safer Better Maternity Services. Secondly, we must work with nursing and medical unions in the recruitment and retention of medical staff, so that all maternity hospitals meet the ‘Birthrate Plus’ standard for midwifery staffing, as well as international standards for consultant obstetricians and gynaecologists.

“The shortcomings in maternity services have directly led to heartrending incidents involving mothers and children, including the tragic deaths of some. As legislators, we cannot abide this to continue when it is in our power to act. We must have the National Maternity Strategy and a National Maternity Hospital that is fit for purpose and free to act in the best interests of women’s health.” 

Note: Please see attached the Sinn Féin motion in question

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