Monday 23 October 2017

I see no reason for anxiety – Taoiseach

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Paul Deering

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he doesn't see any threat to maternity services at Sligo Regional Hospital.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny says he doesn't see any threat to maternity services at Sligo Regional Hospital.

Speaking to The Sligo Champion after the official opening of the expanded AbbVie plant, the Taoiseach said: "I see no reason for any concerns or anxieties in respect of Sligo."

Mr Kenny said it was important that an examination of existing standards take place and that these be upgraded to the very highest level.

"It's very important following a number of tragic cases that for those who are going to be giving birth in maternity units around the country that they are happy and comfortable and that these units are as safe as they can be and that Ireland as a place for giving birth is one of the safest locations on earth.

"If I were to believe all I heard you'd be closing down every maternity unit in the country except Galway."

Asked could he give a guarantee that the unit in Sligo will stay open, he said: "I am giving you a guarantee that we need to analyse the standards and increase the standards instead of closing them down.

"I see no reason for any anxiety for people in this part of Ireland in respect of maternity services.

"No more than for Donegal or for Portiuncula or for Galway."

The Taoiseach mentioned the review currently taking place of maternity units saying the analysis hadn't even started yet.

He also hinted that the local elections may have had a part to play in raising fears about Sligo's maternity unit.

"We did have a thing called an election recently and it gave vent to a lot of steam," he said.

The West/ North West Hospital Group says a full review of maternity services in the region is on-going.

It says no decision has yet been made about services at hospitals in the region.

Fianna Fail Senator Marc MacSharry, has claimed services at Sligo are "under threat".

He says a confidential report shows the Government is "giving strong consideration" to dramatically reducing Obstetric-led maternity care in the region.

Senator MacSharry said: "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."

Sligo Champion