Written Answers. - Birth Defects Information.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

216 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health the plans, if any, he has for a register of birth defects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38/94]

Information on birth defects is available from a number of sources: registers operate in the Eastern Health Board area and in Galway; the birth notification scheme collects information on birth defects which are apparent before a new born baby is discharged from hospital and information would also be available from the hospital inpatient inquiry scheme in respect of babies with birth defects who were subsequently treated in an acute hospital. I consider that it would be more appropriate to consider how existing sources of information on birth defects can be developed rather than to develop a separate register.