Daly raises issue of delay in symphysiotomy cases
Minister for Health says issue is being addressed seriously by the Governmenet
Clare Daly said the Government appeared to be engaged in an attempt to deny access to the courts to the ageing victims of symphysiotomy by long-fingering the issues, while holding out the possibility of redress
Minister for Health Dr James Reilly will bring proposals to Government in the near future relating to symphysiotomy survivors, the Dáil was told.
“I give the assurance, before the House rises, that the issue is being addressed seriously by the Government,’’ said Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.
He was replying to Independent TD Clare Daly, who said time was not on the side of the symphysiotomy survivors, adding that the explanation for the delay in dealing with the issue was the Minister’s consideration of the final draft of the Walsh report.
She said the Government appeared to be engaged in an attempt to deny access to the courts to the ageing victims of symphysiotomy by long-fingering the issues, while holding out the possibility of redress. “In other words, it is coercing the victims into acceptance,’’ she added. “I do not make that point in any way lightly.’’
She said the women involved had specifically stated they were not interested in any redress scheme that was based on the idea that symphysiotomy was a medically acceptable practice. They wanted a public acknowledgement by the various defendants that the operations were negligent and performed without clinical justification or consent.
Ms Daly said they also wanted payment of damages to each victim in the range of €250,000 to €450,000. “These figures are not being bandied about but are based on a substantial haircut of the amounts the courts have awarded some of the victims who have endured serious damage.’’
Ms Daly said there was no appropriate treatment for symphysiotomy, and the damage d could not be undone.