Fine Gael Longford/Westmeath Senator Nicky McFadden has warned of the danger of cutting maternity services at Portiuncula Hospital and the threat it would pose to the lives of expectant mothers and their unborn babies.
“There is a state-of-the-art special baby unit and a highly skilled workforce at the maternity ward of Portiuncula Hospital, with over 2,000 births having taken place there in 2008 and a similar target set to be reached for 2009. If cuts are implemented at the hospital where are the expectant mothers of Galway, Longford, Westmeath, Roscommon, Offaly, and Tipperary supposed to go?
“It would be extremely hazardous to compel pregnant women, who are about to give birth, to travel in excess of two hours to deliver their babies at another maternity hospital.
“Despite the moratorium on public sector jobs, the wonderful midwifery team continues to reinvent itself and manages to deliver a service which is second to none. Portiuncula is a flagship hospital for maternity services. To cut services would be an outrageous move which would undoubtedly put the lives of expectant mothers and their unborn babies needlessly at risk.”