Maternity hospitals must clarify, and re-submit in writing, their approach to the Covid-19 restrictions, a Fine Gael TD has urged.
Fine Gael Spokesperson on Health Deputy Colm Burke said, “Restrictions to maternity hospitals continue to cause great distress for women and their partners. I am hearing serious concerns from parents in relation to Cork University Maternity Hospital and I know it is also an issue in other hospitals across the country.
“I raised this issue a month ago at the Oireachtas Health Committee when I was reassured by HSE Chief Paul Reid that 16 of the 19 maternity units nationally were following the guidelines on admission or the attendance of partners.
“However, given the continued issues being reported on the ground, it seems that hospitals are reporting one thing to the Minister for Health and the HSE, but taking another approach in reality. The guidelines that maternity units have described on the HSE website are not the case in practise in many units.
“Expectant mothers need clarity. I am calling on each individual maternity unit to set out fully in writing their approach to the Covid-19 restrictions and their rationale for same and submit it to the Minister for Health and the HSE for review.
“While a cautious approach was important at the start of the pandemic given the need to protect health care staff, there is no longer any need for some of the restrictions being implemented by individual maternity units. The healthcare staff in question are fully vaccinated and indeed, many of the partners I have spoken to who have had their access to maternity hospitals severely restricted, are also fully vaccinated. There is no logic to this.
“We want to ensure equality of treatment and compassion for all expectant mothers across the country,” concluded Deputy Burke.