22nd December 2002
Full Obstetric Services must be restored to Monaghan General Hospital
Sinn Fein TD for Cavan Monaghan and Dáil Group leader Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin commenting on the Review Team's recommendations with regard to the death of baby Bronagh Livingstone said: OENo amount of tinkering at the edges will address the real fears of families throughout the greater part of County Monaghan who understandably and wisely continue to argue for the restoration of full obstetric services at Monaghan General. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
``While the Review Team's recommendations regarding revised protocols, their implementation and ongoing review, the re-introduction of the OErunner system, the provision of a flying squad and of adequate facilities for the delivery and management of a pre-term infant at Monaghan General Hospital, are undoubtedly welcome in themselves, they are nevertheless all focused on emergency obstetric cases only.
``The Review Team has not grappled with the fundamental truth that it was the decision to close the Maternity Unit at Monaghan General Hospital that was the primary contributory factor to the Livingstone tragedy.
``No amount of tinkering at the edges will address the real fears of families throughout the greater part of County Monaghan who understandably and wisely continue to argue for the restoration of full obstetric services at Monaghan General.
``I roundly reject any effort to point responsibility for the tragedy of baby Bronagh's death at members of staff at Monaghan General Hospital or elsewhere within the delivery system. Staff, despite the Review Team's assertion to the contrary, have had to work under the most strained and uncertain circumstances for some considerable time. Health Board Executive and Group Hospital Management have been the primary contributors to the situation.
``Mr. Finbar Lennon's resignation should be allowed to stand and should be followed by others with whom he was closely associated.
``The Review Team's recommendations regarding on-site management at Monaghan General Hospital are something I have strenuously argued for over these past two years. Such a development would hopefully lead to the putting in place of a Management Board at Monaghan General Hospital representative of all key interests committed to the future delivery of acute hospital services in Monaghan. I trust that this will yet be a product of this recommendation. I undertake to give every assistance to Mr. Kevin Bonnar if he indicates a commitment to the establishment of an independent management structure. ENDS
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