Clarity needed on future funding of National Maternity Strategy

27 January 2020

Labour Party Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said the resignation of Mark Molloy from the HSE board, raises serious questions about National Maternity Strategy.

Deputy Kelly said:

“The resignation of Mark Molloy as a patient advocate on the HSE board rings serious alarm bells about the future funding of the National Maternity Strategy.

“The National Maternity Strategy is an extremely important roadmap as to how we can improve maternity services across Ireland.

“With long-term health projects under severe pressure thanks to the overspend in the National Children’s Hospital, it is no surprise that the strategy is under-resourced.

“It’s extremely telling of where we are, that patient advocates like Mark Molloy are unable to stand over the partial roll out of this strategy. The stalling is extremely disappointing for medical practitioners and advocates for better maternity services.

“The funding of the National Maternity Strategy goes hand in hand with ensuring that we clear gynaecological and colposcopy waiting lists.

“Gynaecological services are often the poor relation of the health service and are frequently defunded due to budget over runs in hospitals. Women in some parts of the country are waiting two years or more for the diagnosis and treatment of serious gynaecological disorders such as uterine prolapse and endometriosis.

“Once a new Government is formed and a new Minister for Health is elected, we need to seriously reflect on how patient advocates are treated and listened to. We cannot be left in a position where valuable voices like Mark’s and Lorraine Walsh’s are being ignored.

“For months I have been chasing the issue of a formalised payment structure for patient advocates for their time and expertise given to HSE and Minister Harris has yet to deliver despite promise after promise.

“We can’t continue to expect people who have been through the ringer either through a personal illness or that of their family members to come give advice to the HSE pro-bono.”

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