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Full funding for maternity services must be red line in programme for government negotiations

Published: Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Following the publication of today’s HIQA report into maternity services in Ireland, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) has called on all newly elected politicians to make fully funding the maternity strategy a red line issue in programme for government negotiations.

The HIQA report identified key areas of non-compliance, including:

  • substandard physical environment and infrastructure of units and hospitals
  • inadequate midwifery and medical staffing levels 
  • low uptake and recording of attendance at training

The report also shows that only 11 % of the estimated total funding requirement of €75 million for full implementation of the strategy has been provided so far.

Cliona Loughnane, Women’s Health Coordinator with NWCI said,

“The findings of the HIQA report are extremely concerning for women and must lead to urgent action. In line with our Feminist Ireland election manifesto, we are calling on all politicians to make a fully costed maternity strategy implementation plan a red line issue in programme for government negotiations. At the centre of our maternity services must be women and their experiences. In addition to complying with the HIQA recommendations, the implementation plan must therefore integrate the findings of the National Maternity Experience survey. This survey is currently underway, asking women about their experiences of maternity care in Ireland.”

She continued,

“The Maternity Strategy was developed partially in response to tragedies in our maternity services and was meant to develop quality, safe, consistent and well-resourced care in all 19 units across the country. It is very disappointing that until now only 11 % of the estimated funding has been allocated for the strategy. Without proper funding – and without the opening of a publicly-owned and controlled National Maternity Hospital – commitments to develop women-centred maternity care will not be achieved.”


For more information, please contact Silke Paasche, Head of Communications, NWCI, Tel. 085 858 9104 or 01 679 0100.