Fine Gael Meath East TD and member of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) warmly welcomed the compensation package approved by the Government for survivors of symphysiotomies. Deputy Doherty has been working with the women involved and has been urging the Government to bring closure to the issue.
“It is an important day for the survivors of symphysiotomy; finally the pain and injustice they suffered is being fully recognised. The graduated compensation scheme will make a big difference to the women involved; most of whom are more than 75 years old.
‘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. The Minister for Health, James Reilly, has been committed to addressing this issue and I am relieved that a resolution has finally been found.
“In accepting the recommendations of Judge Yvonne Murphy, the Government is sending a very strong message to survivors of symphysiotomy that it understands what they have gone through. I also think it is very important that the Government has clearly condemned the practice of symphysiotomies, describing them as ‘indefensible and wrong’.
“I understand that victims of the procedure have been frustrated at the time delays they have experienced. But the important thing is that we now finally have a compensation scheme in place. This is yet another legacy issue which has been dealt with by this Government, and by Minister Reilly in particular.
“The Government has also stated its commitment to continuing to provide a wide range of services to the women, including the provision of medical cards.
“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 pleased that Minister Reilly has been the person to deliver it.”