Seanad debates

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

 

10:30 am

Mary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I support Senator Currie's call for Government assistance for the zoo in the Phoenix Park.

The scariest thing I did in my life was give birth to my three children. I spent the first seven months of my first pregnancy in denial and the final two months saying I genuinely cannot do this. If it had not been for the Rotunda Hospital and the amazing staff, including the midwives, nurses and doctor, I do not believe I would have ever found the courage I managed to find. I would never have imagined I would have such courage, and three 10 lb babies later, here I am. They are teenagers who drive me mad; I wonder why I ever did it.

The Rotunda Hospital, for those who do not know, is on Parnell Square. It is the world's oldest maternity hospital and dates back to 1745. It has brought more than 300,000 babies into the world. Even in pandemic times, approximately 700 babies per month have been born in the hospital.

An article on the front page of one of our Sunday papers last weekend highlighted an issue that all of us in the constituency have been campaigning on for the past number of years. It relates to a report completed by KPMG that documents safety concerns in the hospital relating to chronic overcrowding, a lack of space and a lack of capital investment to address the ancient infrastructure and buildings.

I ask that the Leader invite the Minister for Health to come to the House and address the serious issues raised in the KPMG report, and outline what action he and the Department will take to support the midwives, nurses, the Master and the doctors in the Rotunda Hospital to continue to deliver babies safely into our capital city.

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