HEALTH Minister James Reilly believes the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar, pictured, was a factor in the introduction of measures aimed at tackling hospital superbugs.
Medical experts have launched new clinical guidelines, which are designed to prevent the spread of the potentially fatal disease MRSA.
It is hoped the measures, which include isolating patients affected by MRSA, will help save lives and reduce costs in the healthcare system.
Ms Halappanavar died in hospital in Galway last year from an infection days after suffering a miscarriage.
Mr Reilly said he believed Ms Halappanavar's death was a factor in the introduction of the new measures, saying: "I think that tragedy that struck certainly brought into very sharp focus the need for greater uniformity of clinical protocols around the care of patients generally.
"There were so many things that went wrong in the course of Savita Halappanavar's treatment and so many different points of action that could have maybe resulted in a different outcome, that clearly it brought even greater urgency to the situation to address it," he said.
The minister said while rates of MRSA have halved since 2006, there is still a long way to go. The rate of infection in Ireland has fallen from 42pc in 2006 to 22pc last year.