Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Questions (927)

Gino Kenny

Question:

927. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Health if he will provide clarity and an update in relation to partners of pregnant person’s attendance at prenatal appointments, labour and delivery (details supplied); if he will allow this vital support to resume as the gradual relaxation of public health restrictions commences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21412/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I would like to assure the Deputy that I fully appreciate how restrictions across the health system are impacting service users and I acknowledge that restrictions in maternity hospitals have been particularly difficult for expectant mothers and partners. However, it is important to recognise that the challenges our maternity hospitals face vary considerably between hospitals and that significant variations in case load, complexity and infrastructure exist throughout the system. In that regard local flexibility is required to account for the different circumstances that may arise in different maternity units and decisions on restrictions are therefore made, implemented, and reviewed at hospital level.

The National Women’s & Infants Health Programme has advised that as the situation regarding community transmission continues to improve, and as the immunisation of frontline workers begins to take effect, the Programme is engaging with the clinical leads in each maternity network to support the phased relaxation of restrictions and provide advice on any areas of particular challenge.

In that context I have asked the National Women’s and Infants Health Programme, HSE to respond to the Deputy directly, as soon as possible.