It is unacceptable that a postcode lottery still exists around the country

The relaxation of restrictions for partners of pregnant women at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) is a positive step that should be followed by other hospitals nationwide, according to Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.

“The NMH has said it will allow unrestricted visiting for a nominated partner, which is a hugely positive, if overdue, development. We now need to see other maternity hospitals follow suit.

“Pregnant people are not asking for the wholesale lifting of restrictions. They just want their partners to be able to accompany them for important milestones during their pregnancy. This is something that should have been facilitated as far back as May, when Nphet advised there was no public health reason for the continuation of restrictions at maternity hospitals.

“For months, the approach adopted by maternity hospitals has been restrictive, confusing, inconsistent and contradictory. Persistent claims by government, and HSE officials, that restrictions were being lifted have been proven wrong on every occasion.

“What the NMH has done is to release clear guidance which demonstrates that it is possible to retain safety protocols at maternity hospitals while exercising compassion for patients. This is all women, and their partners, have been asking for.

“While the NMH announcement will cause considerable relief among their patients, it is unacceptable that a postcode lottery still exists around the country when it comes to maternity services.

“If restrictions persist at other hospitals, we need to see the government prioritise the publication of a roadmap for the lifting of restrictions across the country by the end of the month.”

13 August, 2021


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