Speaking in the Seanad today Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly called attention to the conflicting messages around access to maternity services.
Last Monday 21st June, the Minister for Health announced that all hospitals would be following the same general guidelines. Two days later Paul Reid of the HSE said that the HSE local hospitals were best placed to make the decision.
O’Reilly was again raising the issue of the restrictions on access for partners to maternity hospitals. She raised concern that each hospital can define what being in labour means.
Senator O’Reilly called on the Minister to direct the HSE to roll out nationwide guidelines on access for partners to maternity hospitals and ensure equality across the island.
She said “I don’t understand why we can’t, with a public service that the state is paying for, actually roll out the same guidelines across all of our maternity hospitals. There is no difference between a woman, a baby and a partner in the west of Ireland and a mother, a baby and a partner in Dublin. We need to have equality across this island”.