Fears remain for maternity services
Published 20/05/2014 | 05:40
COME clean on plans for maternity services at Sligo Regional Hospital.
That's the call to Government as uncertainty continues as to the future of the unit.
A statement from the West/ North West Hospital Group has confirmed that a full review of maternity services in the region is on-going.
It adds that no decision has yet been made about services at Sligo and other hospitals in the region.
However, Fianna Fail Seanad Spokesperson on Health, Senator Marc MacSharry, has again said services at Sligo are "under threat".
He stressed that a confidential report he obtained shows the Government is "giving strong consideration" to dramatically reducing Obstetric-led maternity care in the region.
Senator MacSharry said: "The report clearly outlines six options.
"Each of them includes the closure of Consultant Obstetrician-led maternity services at certain regional hospitals.
"The maternity units at four of the five hospitals in the group are under threat. These are Sligo, Castlebar, Portiuncula and Letterkenny.
"It means that all but University Hospital Galway risks a downgrading of maternity services."
The report was prepared by the Health Partnership Consultancy Firm in February.
Senator MacSharry said when he first asked the HSE about the report, officials denied it existed.
He added: "This was a claim they quickly withdrew. I secured a copy of the report and remain very concerned."
During a visit to Sligo last week, Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, insisted fears for the future of maternity services in Sligo were "unfounded."
He said: "There is no danger to maternity services in Sligo."
Senator MacSharry says he firmly believed the public has a right to know about major changes being considered for maternity services.
He said: "I am calling on the Minister for Health and the HSE to immediately outline their real agenda and to start a public consultation process before any action is taken."