My first priority is to ensure that the women who have had a symphysiotomy have their health needs comprehensively and professionally met. In this regard, the HSE provides a range of services to women who continue to suffer the effects of having had this procedure. These services include the provision of medical cards, the availability of independent clinical advice and the organisation of individual pathways of care and the arrangement of appropriate follow-up.
My Department has commissioned an independent research report in relation to the practice of symphysiotomy in Ireland. The research included a consultation process involving patient groups, health professionals and in particular the women who have experienced symphysiotomy. The researcher is currently finalising the report based on the consultation and it is also planned to have a peer review process. It is hoped that the report will be published early in 2013. It is intended that the awaited report will inform the Government’s overall consideration of this matter, including the consideration of any actions or legal implications that may be required. It would be premature for me to make any other comments at this stage on what actions might be taken, prior to giving full consideration to the recommendations of the report.