Midwifery Unit in Cavan Hospital will remain open – Minister Humphreys

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and Cavan-Monaghan Fine Gael TD, Heather Humphreys, has confirmed that the midwifery unit in Cavan Hospital will remain open.

It is one of only two such dedicated units in the country.

Speaking on the matter, Minister Humphreys said:

“Following a conference call meeting today with Minister Harris, midwives from Cavan General Hospital, the INMO, officials from the Department of Health and myself, I am pleased to confirm that Minister Harris gave an absolute and unequivocal commitment that the Midwifery Unit at Cavan General Hospital will remain open and will be supported.

“As evidence of that, funding has been approved for a new Advance Midwife Practitioner at Cavan General Hospital," she said, also referring to the first ever National Maternity Strategy in 2016 published by the Fine Gael Government.

She said they remain fully committed to implementing that strategy.

“The Strategy outlines a new model of maternity care, which includes expanding, not reducing, midwife-led care throughout the country.

“The funding announced proves that the Government is working to further embed and increase midwifery-led services, including in Cavan.

“Contrary to some of the information in the public domain this week, I am pleased to confirm that the Midwifery Unit in Cavan will not be closing and in fact we want to look at how we can continue to grow the service ensuring at all times that it is women focused,” she concluded.

Sinn Féin TD Pauline Tully had raised the issue in the Dáil earlier this week.

Deputy Niamh Smyth also raised the issue, stating that the MLU had, since July 2004, provided a safe and an important resource for expectant mothers in the border region and midlands.

"She asked, in light of the government's strategy: "Is the government going to allow the Royal College of Surgeons group (RSCI) to suggest a merger or realignment of such a unit? Minister Harris has to address this as changes will not be beneficial compared to the excellent service, which already exists," said the Cavan Fianna Fáil TD.

“I also welcome the commitment Minister Harris has given to me that he will meet with the RSCI on this matter. A resolution must be found – a downgrading of women’s maternity services in the border region and midlands is not acceptable,” she concluded.