Abortions Will Add to Hospital Waiting Lists - HSE


Senior obstetricians and health officials have told the Oireachtas Health Committee that liberalising of the law on abortion would lead to a demand for more surgical abortions. This could have implications for maternity services and may affect waiting lists for gynaecological surgery.


Under the government’s proposals in the event of the repeal of the Eighth Amendment, abortion would be allowed in late pregnancy in cases of “fatal foetal abnormality” and risk to the health of the mother.


Dr Peter McKenna, clinical director of the HSE's Women and Infant's programme, said that around 40 per cent of abortions would have surgical input - and this will have resource implications. He was appearing before the Oireachtas health committee to discuss the national maternity strategy.


Dr Peter Boylan, chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, warned that waiting lists for women in need of surgery for benign gynaecology procedures are already far too long. The lack of medical staff in maternity services was also a cause of "serious concern", he added.


Phil Ní Sheaghdha, general secretary of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, told the committee there are now fewer midwives employed in maternity services than a year ago. "There were 63 midwives recruited during this period, but the numbers leaving outpace recruitment significantly," she said.

Irish Independent. February 22.

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