Dáil Questions: Health

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Dáil Issues, Health, Parliamentary Questions

Clare steps up pressure on Minister to take action on maternal deaths & the lack of focus on independent midwives as important players in transforming our maternity services. Not much of a response from the Minister…

To ask the Minister for Health if he or his Department have had discussions or correspondence with the Minister for Justice, in view of the eight maternal deaths by medical misadventure since 2007 regarding developing a system whereby automatic inquests would take place in cases of maternal deaths.

Clare Daly T.D.

REPLY.
As the Deputy will be aware the issue of inquests into maternal deaths is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Justice and Equality and I understand that the Deputy was advised of the procedures in relation to Coroner’s Inquests in a response to a recent Parliamentary Question put to my colleague. My officials have not had any discussions with the Department of Justice and Equality in relation to this matter.

However, the Chief Medical Officer in his report , HSE Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise Perinatal Deaths (2006 -date) published in February 2014 recommended that the Department of Health should engage with the Department of Justice and Equality in respect of the coronial service. This recommendation was made in light of the comments that some of the families affected by events in Portlaoise Hospital made in relation to Coroner’s Inquests.

My officials have held a meeting with their counterparts in the Department of Justice to discuss the issues highlighted in the CMO’s Report and I understand that a further meeting will take place on the issue.

QUESTION NO: 51
DÁIL QUESTIONaddressed to the Minister for Health (Leo Varadkar)
by Deputy Clare Daly
for ORAL ANSWER on09/07/2015

To ask the Minister for Health if he will initiate an independent review of the Health Service Executive’s handling of independent home-birth midwives.

– Clare Daly T.D.

REPLY.
The Deputy may wish to note that my Department is currently developing a National Maternity Strategy which will set out policy direction for maternity services. A working group, with appropriate stakeholder representation, has been established to develop the strategy and work is progressing. A public consultation is currently underway and will run until 15th July. Publication of the Strategy is one of my priorities for 2015.

I have no plans to initiate an independent review of the Health Service Executive’s handling of independent home birth midwives.