Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (367)

Peadar Tóibín


367. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Health the reason for not providing the couple at the centre of the false diagnosis crisis at the National Maternity Hospital the minutes of their meeting with the CMO in May 2019 and the minutes of the meeting that he had with the master of the hospital in August 2019; and if he will release those minutes pursuant to FOI. [46383/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

As the House will be aware, a termination took place at the National Maternity Hospital in March of this year on the grounds that a condition incompatible with life was present. The couple involved have requested a review of their case. 

My overriding concern as Minister for Health is for the couple involved and ensuring that questions regarding this incident are appropriately answered. As such, I support an independent and external review into this case. I have been advised that the National Maternity Hospital has commissioned such a review. I am sure that the Deputy would agree it is important to await the outcome of that review process, which will allow for a better understanding of what has occurred. It will also allow for any learning that may emerge to be disseminated throughout the health system. I can assure the Deputy and the House that any recommendations made by the review panel will be actioned by my Department, as well as the HSE in order to ensure that a similar incident does not occur again. My Department has also sought assurances from the National Maternity Hospital with regard to the safety and operation of the termination service, and it in turn has confirmed its compliance with the relevant legislation.

A note of the meeting which the family had with the CMO in May 2019 is being forwarded to their legal representative this week. My officials are currently examining the request that has been made for the note of the other meeting which the Deputy refers to.