Social Democrats Political Director Anne-Marie McNally has said she is outraged but not surprised at reports today that maternal health services in Ireland are so sorely lacking in resources that many pregnant people are being denied basic scans in pregnancy that can ensure safe maternal care, healthy pregnancies where possible and allow for parents to make choices regarding pregnancy care and post-partum care where necessary.

Ms McNally said:

“We already know that maternity care in Ireland is not standardised and the quality of care provided is wholly dependent on a number of factors including geographic location; hospital attended; the doctor on duty; and too many other variables.

“This means that in too many cases people are being denied access to what should be the most basic of maternal health services. This is compounded by the appalling lack of perinatal mental health professionals in Ireland of which there are only three operating in the entire country.

“We make quite the song and dance in this country about our maternal health care being second to none while simultaneously exporting hundreds of thousands of women to the UK and elsewhere for basic reproductive healthcare and now we’re told the HSE cannot even realistically fund basic scanning requirements for pregnant people.

“We need to take our head out of the sand and start treating reproductive and sexual health as a priority to ensure that every pregnancy is both a wanted pregnancy and is given the best possible chance of a healthy new-born and a healthy parent at the end of that pregnancy.”

ENDS

2 November 2017