TÁNAISTE EAMON GILMORE has committed to ‘implementing in full’ the recommendations of the HIQA report into the death of Savita Halappanavar.
Representing the government at leaders’ questions, Gilmore told the Dáil that there were fundamental questions to be asked as a result of the numerous failings identified in her care, including questions about those who treated her.
“We have to ask fundamental questions about was there somebody not doing their job or not doing it properly, ” he said. “We have to ask very fundamental questions about the management and supervision of the service.”
Gilmore repeatedly referred to the report as a “good report” which he said was written in “careful language” and “gets to the nub of where the problems are”.
The Tánaiste said that the report recommended changes that needed to be introduced from individual hospitals up to the the desk of the Minister for Health.
Fianna Fail’s Billy Kelleher called on the government to hold a full independent audit of maternity services and the country and to commit to addressing any concerns it raises.
Kelleher asked the Tánaiste what guarantee he could give that the HIQA recommendations would be implemented given that a previous report into the similar death of Tania McCabe in 2007 led to only 5 of 19 maternity hospitals introducing suggested procedures on the treatment of sepsis.
Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald said that she would call the report ‘damning’ as opposed to the Táinaiste’s description as ‘good’.
She said that the lack of resources referred to in the report should be viewed in the context of the upcoming budget and asked the Tánaiste what assurances can be given that the shortfall in resources will be addressed.
The Tánaiste said that the everyone must “take this report and resolve that it must never happen again”. He said that a conversation was required on maternity services that may have to ask “whether there should be 19 maternity hospitals in the country?”