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Report into death of Savita Halappanavar is damning – McDonald

10 October, 2013 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD described the HIQA report into the death of Savita Halappanavar as damning and called on the Minister for Health to provide specific details on the resourcing of frontline maternity services.

The Dublin Central TD said:

“People across the state, particularly women, will be looking on with deep concern following the HIQA report on the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar.

“The report is damning on all fronts.

“What is very clear is that vital safeguards to prevent maternal deaths in this state are being ignored.

“The authors of the report have found it impossible to provide assurances that women are receiving safe or reliable care during and after pregnancy.

“It questions the sustainability of the provisions of maternity services in some areas.

“There was clearly a failure to provide the most basic elements of patient care to Ms Halappanavar and similar concerns raised after the tragic case of Tania McCabe, who died in hospital in Drogheda in 2007 have not since been addressed in the majority of maternity hospitals.

“The HIQA report is a vindication of the account by Praveen Halappanavar of the tragic death of Savita.

“Women and their families need a commitment from the Department of Health and the HSE that an urgent review of maternity services will take place to ensure there is consistent delivery of maternity care across the state. Women also need an assurance that the recommendations of the HIQA report will be implemented in full.

“The shocking state of maternity services in this state is reflective of a wider malaise in our Health Services. This is a direct result of the policies of successive governments, which have downgraded the Irish healthcare system.

“It is clear from the comments this morning by a spokesperson for the HSE that under-staffing is a major issue in relation to the crisis in maternity care. This too is a result of government policy.”


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