Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle, Flynn Welcome HSE Reversal, But Say It Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Pringle, Flynn Welcome HSE Reversal, But Say It Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, and Independent Senator Eileen Flynn have welcomed the reversal of the HSE prohibition on partners attending maternity hospitals for 20-week scans and surgical interventions, but said the decision does not go far enough.

Deputy Pringle said: “Based on the many representations that have been made to my office, I would agree with my constituents that only lifting the restrictions at 20-week scans and surgical interventions does not go nearly far enough.

“The World Health Organisation clearly state that Covid-19 should not pose a barrier to women accessing a birth partner of their choice and assert that it is her human right to do so. By that standard, pregnant and birthing people should have full access to their birth partners in all possible prenatal, labour, birth and postnatal care scenarios.”

Senator Flynn said: “I have heard from so many women since these restrictions were imposed, reaffirming the importance of having a partner with them during prenatal appointments, labour and birth. More than 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for the restrictions to be lifted. As someone who has gone through pregnancy and birth, I know how important it is to listen to women.

“I believe that any decisions around these issues must be worked out between health professionals and the people who use that service. Dialogue and consultation on these very important decisions are crucial. There must be a way to balance concerns over Covid with the needs of women.”

Deputy Pringle and Senator Flynn have raised the matter in the Dáil and Seanad earlier this year and will continue to monitor the issue.

Deputy Pringle said he will also seek clarity on the precise restrictions that may still be in place at each of the Saolta University Health Care Group hospitals, including Letterkenny University Hospital and Sligo University Hospital.