Reilly concerns over Halappanavar leak

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin described the leak as disturbing and said Praveen Halappanavar, above, would be the first to receive the final report into his wife's death, when completed.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin described the leak as disturbing and said Praveen Halappanavar, above, would be the first to receive the final report into his wife's death, when completed.

Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 00:00

Minister for Health James Reilly has conveyed his personal concerns to the husband of the late Savita Halappanavar for the leaking of a draft HSE report into her death.

Concerns were conveyed in a letter to Mr Halappanavar's solicitor.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin described the leak as disturbing and said Praveen Halappanavar would be the first person to receive the final report into his wife's death, once it was completed.

Ms Halappanavar (31) died at Galway University Hospital with suspected septicaemia after a miscarriage at 17 weeks. Her husband said she had repeatedly asked for a termination.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald called on the Minister to give an assurance that Mr Halappanavar would be given the draft report immediately. She said that, based on the leaks, the report vindicated what he had said all along.

She said the Halappanavar family had been treated disgracefully and appallingly. Ms Halappanavar died on October 28th last year but it was only after her husband went public that there was any response from the HSE. He had received no contact from the HSE in those intervening weeks.

Ms McDonald asked who is in charge of this issue, and "Who is responsible for liaising with Praveen?"

"The distress this family is now experiencing is just one episode of chapter after chapter of distress in their treatment by the absolute ineptitude and insensitivity of the system," she said.

Mr Howlin said "all our focus should be on the renewed distress of the family". He said the report had not been seen by the Minister for Health or officials of his department.

People who were referred to in the report were given drafts to allow for a right of reply, and somewhere along that chain of distribution where people were asked to look at the contents of the draft, the leak occurred.

Ms McDonald said the one person who had to have a copy did not have one - when the media and others had.

Mr Howlin said Mr Halappanavar would be the first person to receive the report once the final draft was completed.