Praveen Halappanavar, the husband of the late Savita Halappanavar who died at Galway University Hospital last October, has been urged to co-operate with the ongoing investigations into his wife’s death.
A draft report into the death of Mrs Halappanavar is expected to be ready by the end of this week and will be presented to her husband.
At a meeting of the HSE West regional forum at Merlin Park on Tuesday Galway City Councillor Padraig Conneely, chairman of the forum, said that after six months he was disappointed the investigation had not been completed or a final draft published. “This is an issue I thought would have been carried out in a faster manner,” he told the meeting. “The world’s eyes are upon us. We still have a grieving partner who is going through the trauma of waiting,” Cllr Conneely added.
He asked if the report had been sent to the Minister for Health Dr James Reilly or Mr Halappanavar and when it would be made public to the HSE West forum members.
“This is being carried out by an eminent consultant and has a narrow focus. Will it be published before the inquest on April 8,” he asked.
Cllr Conneely was told that the chair of the investigating team continues to work on the report and he envisages having a draft for Mr Halappanavar before the end of this week. However there is no timeframe for the completion of the final report, the meeting heard.
Tony Canavan, chief operating officer for the HSE West, said the process is extremely detailed and will involve a number of drafts which will be checked and rechecked. He said the purpose of presenting a draft to Mr Halappanavar would be to give him the opportunity to view it and make a comment on it. The investigating team will then decide if another draft is needed, depending on Mr Halappanavar’s comment.
Cllr Conneely pointed out that Mr Halappanavar has had every opportunity to comment and suggested that if there is an issue with the draft Mr Halappanavar still will not communicate with the investigation. “Why give him a draft if he refuses to co-operate,” Cllr Conneely asked.
Mr Canavan said they were following this process to give Mr Halappanavar every opportunity to get involved.
Cllr Conneely issued an appeal to the legal adviser to Mr Halappanvar to urge him to co-operate. “His legal advisers should assist and ask him to co-operate. We need finality. The hospital is at risk. The hospital is in the eye of the storm,” Cllr Conneely added.
He said it was in everyone’s interest that Mr Halappanavar co-operates.
Mr Canavan said he agreed with Cllr Conneely’s comments.
The meeting also heard that the HIQA report into the tragic death of Mrs Halappanavar is ongoing with a draft expected to be published in a few weeks.