Tuesday 16 January 2018

€34m payout for victims of symphysiotomy

Health Minister Simon Harris Photo: Tom Burke
Health Minister Simon Harris Photo: Tom Burke

Eilish O’Regan

Women who underwent the controversial childbirth procedure known as symphysiotomy received payouts totalling €34m from a no-fault redress board.

The 399 women received individual payments of €50,000, €100,000 or €150,000 , according to a new report.

The report on the scheme was produced by Judge Maureen Harding Clark who oversaw the redress as independent assessor.

The redress was eventually offered to women who had campaigned for years for an investigation and compensation for the complications they suffered.

Symphysiotomy was a brutal birth procedure which widened the pelvis and left many women with life-long disabilities.

Women had undergone a surgical symphysiotomy or pubiotomy in the State between 1940 and 1990.

By the time it was eventually offered some of the women had died and majority of claimants were over 75 years of age.

Publishing the report yesterday Health Minister Simon Harris said: ”It had been anticipated that in the region of 350 women would apply to the scheme, but in fact 590 applications were received.

“I hope that the conclusion of this process will help to bring closure for the women involved and their families”.

Symphysiotomy was established in 403 cases and pubiotomy in  one case.

Some 399 applicants received awards and each have received their respective payments.

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