Monday 29 December 2014

Master of Holles Street: '30-35 babies are released from Holles Street every day and it never gets any less amazing'

Darragh Collins

Published 06/07/2014 | 13:28

Master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr. Rhona Mahony
Master of the National Maternity Hospital Dr. Rhona Mahony.

Despite the “ridiculous lack of doctors” in Ireland currently, the master of Holles Street maintains that she has an “amazing” job.

“30-35 babies are released from Holles Street every day and it never gets any less amazing” Dr Rhona Mahony has said.

Speaking to Miriam O’ Callaghan on Radio 1 this morning, Dr Mahony spoke candidly about her role as the master of the maternity hospital in Holles street and the current state of the health system in Ireland.

She stressed that “there is a ridiculous lack of doctors in the country at the moment”.

But despite all of the issues with the health system in Ireland, Dr Mahony maintains that she loves her job.

“You learn to appreciate when things go well for the family at childbirth. There’s a lot of gratitude when it goes right and quite rightly so. “

The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street was named by the HSE last year, as one of a list of hospitals not compliant with public pay policy as a result of unauthorised top-up payments to senior staff.

Mahony was the subject of much debate when she reportedly received a pay top-up. She later issued a statement saying the money was generated by private fees from seeing insured patients and she felt "vilified" by the media coverage.

Today, she said she has learned a lot from the experience last year. 

Speaking about the experience on RTÉ Radio 1, she said: “It’s not pleasant” but added “it’s not all bad, you learn a lot”.

“Would I give back the experience? Actually no I think I learned a huge amount about myself, about how the system works. You also learn you have some great friends.”

“My job is to run Holles St. My job is not to get distracted about things that actually maybe don’t directly affect patient services”

Mahony was asked why women do not progress in the work place, to which she responded that childbirth certainly plays a role in this situation,

“The elephant in the room is childbirth and we go to great lengths to ignore this as a contributing factor as to why women don’t progress in their careers.”

“What we really need to do is start supporting young families much more.

“I think people need much more permission. Men need permission to stay home and bring up children.

“We need to stop saying to women ‘Do you feel guilty? Do you feel guilty because you work?’,” Dr Mahony said.

“And you’re thinking well actually I work really hard and I think I do an important job. So I’m not sure I do feel guilty, thank you.”

She also stressed that, “there is a ridiculous lack of doctors in the country at the moment”.

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