Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Questions (364)

Peter Burke


364. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Health when anomaly scans will be available to all maternity patients at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41166/18]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The National Maternity Strategy is very clear that all women must have equal access to standardised ultrasound services. The Strategy is being implemented on a phased basis and this work is being led by the National Women and Infants Health Programme. The Programme's Implementation Plan for the Strategy includes a number of actions to facilitate the provision by all maternity hospitals/units of dating and anomaly scans to all pregnant women.

Furthermore, additional development funding of €4.15 million is being allocated to maternity services this year. The Programme has prioritised improving quality and safety, establishing community midwifery teams and increasing access to anomaly scans. I understand that the Programme has approved the appointment of an additional 28 ultrasonographers which was the total requirement identified to provide 100% access to anomaly scanning.

Pending the completion of the requisite recruitment and training processes, I am assured that the Programme will continue to work with the six Hospital Groups to assist in increasing access to anomaly scans for those units with limited availability. The Programme is also working with the Maternity Networks to ensure foetal medicine expertise is available when an anomaly is identified. In relation to the status of anomaly scan provision at the Midlands Regional Hospital Mullingar, I have asked the HSE to reply to you directly.