"Situation with maternity services is inhumane" - Tóibín
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has welcomed a suggestion from the Master of the National Maternity Hospital that visitor restrictions on maternity wards may be lifted this week, branding the restrictions as "inhumane".
Deputy Tóibín said:
"This afternoon I spoke to business owner and activist Sarah Flynn about her campaign for a more compassionate approach to maternity services during the pandemic. The stories Sarah shared with me are heartbreaking, where a women are often left to attend scans alone, without the support or presence of a partner, husband or family member. Some of these women have recieved sad news and are left without a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on. Frankly the situation is inhumane, and some have described the experience as cold".
Deputy Tóibín continued: "No woman should have to face scans or labour alone. Maternity hospitals should be places of joy, care, compassion and love, the fact that some women are describing their experiences as "cold" is huge cause for concern. The issue was raised with the Minister for Older People and Mental Health, Mary Butler, today, but I think Stephen Donnelly the Health Minister must answer questions on this as a matter of urgency, I will be raising the matter with him at the next available opportunity".
"The fact that the Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Professor Shane Higgins, is looking at reducing the visitor restrictions this week is welcome news, however this issue is not just confined to one individual hospital, we need to look at other hospitals around the country and, while bearing in mind the dangers posed by Covid_19, also work to ensure that maternity units exercise some compassion and understanding in these delicate circumstances. Something is wrong with our system if women are reporting "cold" experiences of bringing new life into the world", concluded Deputy Tóibín.