Written answers

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Department of Health and Children

Medical Reports

2:00 pm

Photo of Arthur MorganArthur Morgan (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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Question 61: To ask the Minister for Health and Children the position on the report on symphysiotomy requested from the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and announced (details supplied) on 23 February 2010, which report was the subject of a further announcement on 13 July 2010; if the proposed literature review by a team from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is proceeding; if not, the alternative now envisaged to take the place of the discontinued literature review; if the report team headed by a person (details supplied) is in place and has it commenced substantive work; and if not, the process now envisaged for the completion of the institute's report to her and the dates she now envisages for delivery of the completed report. [1777/11]

Photo of Mary HarneyMary Harney (Minister, Department of Health and Children; Dublin Mid West, Independent)
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I asked the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to prepare a report for me concerning the practice of symphysiotomy in Ireland. I asked that the report would:

provide the Institute's assessment of the circumstances in which symphysiotomy was carried out in Irish obstetric units;

indicate what protocols or guidance existed over the years to guide professional practice; and

specify when the practice changed and why it changed at that time in Ireland.

The Institute sought to make arrangements for the review to be carried out by an external team. Unfortunately, it was not possible to progress this in the way originally proposed. I understand that the Institute is now making alternative arrangements with the assistance of a university school of public health.

I have been assured by the HSE that it will continue to monitor and oversee the provision of necessary support services for women. In doing so the HSE is committed to being proactive in seeking out and offering help to women who had symphysiotomies and who may wish to avail of the services offered by the HSE.


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