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TDs call special private meeting to talk about baby deaths at Portlaoise

TD Jerry Buttimer said the families involved deserve a “full and frank explanation”.

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise
Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

TDS AND SENATORS are to hold a special private meeting to discuss the revelations about the deaths of babies at Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer, who heads the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, said members of the committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss what to do next.

Buttimer said that the families involved deserve a “full and frank explanation” of what happened to their children.

An investigation on RTE Prime Time looked into the deaths of four babies over six years at the hospital’s maternity unit and found that the babies had no physical conditions which would have led to their death. The programme said that “other factors” had led to the death of the infants.

Minister for Health James Reilly has said an investigation will be carried out into the deaths and has asked the Chief Medical Officer to review each case.

“The tragic events themselves and the loss of a child caused enormous distress and grief for parents – regrettably these appear to have been compounded by subsequent responses,” said Buttimer.

“The families involved deserve a full and frank explanation of what happened and I call on all involved to ensure that this happens”.

A helpline for concerned families  - available on 057 869 6076  - is open until 5pm today.

The private session meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children at 3pm on Tuesday.

Read: Missed the Prime Time investigation? Here’s what you need to know >

Read: Health Minister calls for report into the death of babies at Portlaoise hospital >

Read: Concerned parents turn to helpline after Portlaoise Hospital revelations >

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