Dáil debates

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Topical Issue Debate

Maternity Services

6:55 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I do not want to get into the Philomena Canning case. It may well be that Deputy Clare Daly does not know all of the facts either. When the HSE withdraws cover from somebody, it tends to do so for a reason, not at the whim of an official. Without knowing the reason for the withdrawal, we should confine our comments on the matter.

I am probably closer to the Deputy on this issue than she thinks. Pregnancy is not a disease but a physiological condition and there is no reason women with a normal pregnancy should not have their baby delivered at home by a community midwife or in a midwife-led unit. Every pregnancy does not need to be dealt with by an obstetrician and this is the sort of issue the maternity review will consider.

Whether in the case of an obstetrician or a midwife, I put it to the Deputy that the HSE does not withdraw cover lightly or on a whim but for a reason.

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