19 April 2020
By Bryan Smyth
Fine Gael TD Colm Burke has written to Minister for Health Simon Harris calling for access to WiFi to be made available to all 19 HSE maternity units across the country.
As a result of Covid-19 preventative measures, strict visitor restrictions in maternity units have been in place since 1st April to safeguard patient and public safety.
No visitors are permitted for antenatal and postnatal inpatients, with the exception of patients who are in labour or scheduled for a cesarean section who are permitted one nominated companion during the birth.
Deputy Burke explained: “Currently, new mothers and their newborns are not permitted to have visitors, so providing WiFi access to new mothers will enable communication by email, social media and video calls to their partners and family members.”
Burke continued: “It is hoped this will go some way to combat loneliness in what should ordinarily be a time full of joy and excitement, and bring some comfort to families who have babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, where only mothers are allowed to visit.
“Given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, compassion must come first when considering the needs of HSE patients in these difficult times”, he concluded.