Fianna Fáil Senator Marc Mac Sharry has called for obstetrician led services in maternity hospitals throughout the country. He also called for further investment in infrastructure within existing centres for paediatric and neonatal areas.
“I believe much more needs to be done to attract obstetricians to Ireland’s hospitals. Ireland has the lowest number of obstetricians per head of population in the OECD,” said Senator Mac Sharry.
“The new contract for consultants means competition from abroad together with our obligations under the ‘Working Time’ directive poses serious challenges to our ability to adequately staff maternity services throughout the country.
“The government should ensure that current maternity services are protected and enhanced rather than downgraded. People outside Dublin must have high quality health and maternity services.
“The tragedy of Savita Halapanavar and the Portlaoise revelations have highlighted issues of major concern which require action. Fianna Fáil fully supports any investment that may be required in infrastructure and human resources. The necessary investment in infrastructure and initiatives is required to entice more obstetrician paediatric and neonatal professionals.
“Fianna Fáil fully supports a safer obstetrician led maternity service for every mother in Ireland. We will support all initiatives to achieve this but we must learn from the mistakes of the past and ensure equality of access geographically.
“The terms of reference and preliminary report prepared by Health Partnership into maternity services ought to be immediately published and debated in the Oireachtas.”