Thursday, 1 April 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Holly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
The most recent guidelines relating to the ongoing restrictions in maternity hospitals date back to September. Since then there have been significant changes, including that front-line healthcare workers have been vaccinated. The Taoiseach told me back in September that there needs to be and should be a national approach to this. Of course, it should never have been a geographical lottery. In early December, the HSE reclassified partners as an essential accompanying person for the 20-week scan. Incredibly, partners have somehow become unessential for the later scans and most of labour. Earlier today, the Minister for Health said that it was now up to each individual hospital. What exactly is the policy on this? It seems the policy is simply for the Government to wash its hands of it. Over three months ago, the UK changed its policy to allow expectant mothers to have someone with them at all stages of their maternity journey. It is unfathomable that this was not addressed this week along with other issues such as sports. It seems much like the importance of children's shoes. Despite the number of times I have raised the matter, it has been ignored.