Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Minister will bring measures to Govt shortly to cater for symphysiotomy survivors - Doherty & Humphreys

Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, and Cavan/Monaghan TD, Heather Humphreys, have today (Tuesday) said they have received an assurance from the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, that he intends to bring measures to Government in the near future to deal with the issue of symphysiotomy.

 Deputy Doherty said: ‘Survivors of symphisiotomy have had their entire lives blighted by a barbaric procedure that had more in common with the Middle Ages than modern medicine. Minister Reilly last year gave a commitment to deal with the issue sensitively, so as to bring closure to the women affected’.

 “I understand that victims of the procedure are frustrated with the amount of time this is taking, and I understand the distress this is causing. However, the Minister has assured me that he intends to go to Government in the near future, with measures to deal with the issue of symphysiotomy.

 “The Minister’s dedication to this issue should not be doubted; on a number of occasions he has joined Deputy Humphreys and I in meeting with Patient Focus and survivors’ representatives. The Minister fully understands the pain and suffering these women have gone through, and I know he will deal with this issue once and for all.”

Deputy Humphreys said: ‘The Department of Health has been considering the report into symphysiotomy by Oonagh Walsh and has been closely studying its conclusions. In order to address the matter, which has seen many women suffer significant health issues, the Department has been evaluating a range of options, including an analysis of the responsibility faced by groups including the relevant insurance companies. The Department has also been in discussion with the State Claims Agency to discuss how best to progress the issue’.

 “I understand that when these discussions are complete, the Department will provide a recommendation to the Minister to bring to Cabinet for consideration by Government. Thankfully, Ireland is now one of the safest places in the world in which to have a baby. But this was not always the case, as our legacy of symphysiotomies proves. The women who were subjected to this horrific procedure deserve justice, and I am confident that the Minister for Health will be the person to deliver it.”

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