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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 29 September 2020

29 women still without midwives after withdrawal of midwife's insurance

Some of these women may now be forced to have their babies in hospital, rather than at home.

Image: pregnancy image via Shutterstock

THERE ARE 29 women who still have not had a home birth midwife appointed to them after the women who had been providing her services had her indemnification by the HSE.

The HSE decided earlier this year to withdraw Philamena Canning’s indemnity cover, effectively shutting down the woman’s home birth practice. Her insurance cover has been temporarily suspended until an investigation into two home births she provided services at is concluded.

Canning has refuted any suggestion that the standard of care she provided fell below required standards and no findings have wrongdoing on her part have been made.

Health Spokesperson for Sinn Féin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, yesterday raised the issue in front of the Health Committee, grilling HSE officials about what they plan to do for these women. John Hennessy, National Director for Primary Care, responded that the HSE will “do their best to meet the women’s need”. However he said it may not be possible to provide supports in line with their particular choice.

“In other words there will not be alternative community midwives available for all 29 cases and some, an unknown number, will have to resort to obstetric care settings, ie, in hospital maternity care,” commented Ó Caoláin in a letter to the women after yesterday’s exchange. “I made it clear that this was totally unacceptable and not news I looked forward to reporting back to the women concerned.”

Read: Despite refusal, home birth case a “worthwhile fight”>

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