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National Maternity Strategy Expenditure

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 12 June 2018

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Questions (599)

Catherine Martin


599. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Health the funding allocated to the implementation of the National Maternity Strategy for 2018, 2019 and 2020; the way in which this funding allocation is broken down; the specific funding allocated to the roll-out of a national perinatal mental health service for the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24363/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Implementation of Ireland's first National Maternity Strategy - Creating a Better Future Together 2016-2026 - is being led by the National Women and Infants Health Programme.  To that end, the Programme has developed a detailed Implementation Plan and estimated that full implementation will cost in the region of an additional €80 million revenue funding over the lifetime of the Strategy. Work to identify the precise capital funding requirement is ongoing.  The Strategy will be implemented on a phased basis and therefore the funding requirement will vary from year to year. In that context, the Implementation Plan will inform the annual Estimates process each year. 

In 2018, €4.15m has been allocated for the Strategy, and in that regard, the Programme has prioritised; improving quality and safety, establishing community midwifery teams and increasing access to anomaly scans. This follows previous investment of €3m development funding provided for maternity services in 2016 and increased funding of €6.8m provided in 2017. That money was allocated in line with the Strategy and included funding for additional staff, including 100 midwives, the development of specialist bereavement teams and for the implementation of the Maternal and Newborn Clinical Management System. 

Regarding perinatal mental health, €1 million was allocated in 2017 to start three specialist perinatal hubs in Galway University Hospital, Cork University Maternity Hospital and University Maternity Hospital Limerick and to expand the small existing teams in the three Dublin based maternity hospitals. I understand that a further €2 million will be provided to complete each of these six hub teams; €0.2m of which is being allocated this year while the remaining €1.8m will be allocated in 2019. 

I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly to provide further detail on the relevant allocations.