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Partners of pregnant women still excluded in some hospitals

admin | September 23, 2020

Partners of expectant mothers will continue to be excluded from scans and early labour in some regions as not all hospitals will be able to include them under new Government plans.

Pregnant women have been subjected to a “postcode lottery” of restrictions since Covid-19 hit, although the Government conceded “local circumstances” may see different policies around visitors continue in some hospitals.

Plans due to be announced this week will aim to introduce nationwide guidelines, but a spokesperson for Taoiseach Micheál Martin told The Irish Examiner that an end to the regional differences, which has seen different rules depending on the hospital a woman attends, cannot be fully guaranteed. The spokesperson added that the document would seek to ensure a consistent national approach to visitor restrictions in maternity hospitals “as far as is practicable and having due regard to local circumstances”.

Responding to queries from The Irish Examiner, the Government has admitted it may not be able to end the differing maternity restrictions across hospitals as it scrambles to come up with standardised guidelines.

Approximately 30,000 babies have been born in Ireland since the pandemic hit in March.

Social Democrats TD for Cork South-West Holly Cairns said that a review of the current restrictions, that have been in place for six months, is long overdue.

Last week, Ms Cairns told “I want the restrictions to be revised immediately and to see if they can be eased, public health is the priority. It’s just difficult to understand why other areas of society have been revised and revisited and this hasn’t been properly. “We need clarity and it has to be revised immediately, we can’t ask anymore women to go through this if it’s not necessary.”

READ MORETD calls for easing of maternity restrictions after hearing ‘heartbreaking’ stories

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