1 September 2021
By Tom Collins
“At every step, and every stage, women and pregnant people have been ignored” says Holly Cairns. She is asking that the Government must immediately publish a roadmap for the reopening of maternity services, according to Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.
“I welcome the publication of the reopening plan for society and the economy, but am struck by a glaring omission. Nowhere, in the documents published by the government yesterday, is there any mention of maternity services.
“We now have a situation in which we have an indicative date for the reopening of nightclubs, but no estimate for when restrictions at maternity hospitals are likely to be lifted. Maternity care should not be an afterthought, but that has been the consistent approach by this government. At every step, and every stage, women and pregnant people have been ignored.
“Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has stated a new set of guidelines, for maternity care, will be published later this week. He has failed to explain what necessitated this delay – or give any firm commitment that maternity restrictions will be lifted as society reopens.
“Speaking on Virgin Media last night, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the restrictions left in place in maternity hospitals “have very little to do with covid” but instead are related to “decades of underinvestment in maternity care and women’s healthcare” – an apparent reference to the cramped and antiquated conditions at many hospitals.
“Perhaps Mr Donnelly should check who was in government throughout those decades of underinvestment. For the previous decade it was Fine Gael and prior to that it was his own party, Fianna Fáil. Why should anyone trust those parties to fix the very problem they created?”