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Author of symphysiotomy report "anxious" to meet survivors

Oonagh Walsh, who is seeking consultation on her draft report on symphysiotomy, said that she is “very anxious to meet with survivors”.

Symphysiotomy survivors with Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Caoimhghin O Caolain TD(left) and Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein Party leader (right) at a Dáil debate in March
Symphysiotomy survivors with Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Caoimhghin O Caolain TD(left) and Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein Party leader (right) at a Dáil debate in March
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE RESEARCHER WHO wrote the draft report on symphysiotomies has said she is “anxious” to meet survivors.

Oonagh Walsh released a statement today saying that reports that she declined to meet the Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SOS) group are “not true”.

Walsh said:

I am in fact very anxious to meet with survivors, and secure their responses to the report. The opinions of survivors and other key stakeholders are at the heart of the process, and their contributions are central to its success.

She added that she was invited to a meeting today to which the other two representative organizations (SOS Ltd and Patient Focus) were not invited.

In order for my consultation process on the draft report on symphysiotomy to be independent, fair and equitable, I felt it was essential that this invitation be extended to other key representatives who also represent survivors. There are survivors of symphysiotomy who are not affiliated to any group, and it is essential that they are also part of the process.

The researcher, who is based in UCC, said that the draft report is now at the second stage of a two-stage process, the first of which was an independent academic research report.

The second phase involves consultation with relevant stakeholders to provide comment on the report.

Walsh described this consultation process as “an opportunity for all women who have undergone symphysiotomy to comment on the draft report, and their responses will inform the final report”.

My primary concern is that every woman has the opportunity to make her comments in a supportive and respectful environment, and to assure all contributors that their responses are both appreciated and valued.

People can respond to the report either by attending one of the planned meetings, or by emailing their thoughts to symphysiotomyresponse@ucc.ie.

“It is important that women who are unable to attend the meetings avail of this method of response, and I warmly welcome their contribution. All comments will be treated in the strictest confidence,” said Walsh.

Meetings have been organised at three locations nationally, and registration can be made by phone at 045880400, from 11am to 2pm, Monday to Friday.

Walsh concluded:

Finally, I wish to assure the survivors that my report on Symphysiotomy is an independent report and participation in the consultation process is not linked in any way to any medical entitlements.

Read: Survivors of symphysiotomy take next step in search for justice>

Read: Draft symphysiotomy report due this week>

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