Husband to receive HSE Savita report today

Praveen Halappanavar hopes true picture is given of level of wife’s care

Praveen Halappanavar husband of Savita, will this morning receive the HSEreport into her death.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Praveen Halappanavar husband of Savita, will this morning receive the HSEreport into her death.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES


The husband of the late Savita Halappanavar will this morning receive the HSEreport into her death.

Praveen Halappanavar will not be present when Tony Canavan, chief operating officer of the Galway Roscommon Hospital Group, gives the long-awaited report to Mr Halappanavar’s solicitor, Gerard O’Donnell.

Mr O’Donnell told The Irish Times Mr Canavan had asked to hand-deliver the report to Mr Halappanavar but his client had declined the request. Mr Canavan is expected at the offices of Mr O’Donnell at 11.30am with copies of the report.

“I will make the report immediately available to my client,” said Mr O’Donnell.

“We will both review it over the weekend for any inaccuracies and consider whether we want to make any comments on it. I think we will be invited again to meet the chairman of the review team. I will take guidance from my client on that.”

He said his client hoped it would give a true picture, not only of what happened from a clinical point of view, but of the level of care and compassion Ms Halappanavar was shown in the week leading up to her death.

Ms Halappanavar (31), a dentist originally from India, died at Galway University Hospital on October 28th last. She had presented at the maternity unit on October 21st complaining of severe back pain. She was 17 weeks pregnant and was found to be miscarrying.
Mr Halappanavar has consistently maintained, since he first recounted her death to The Irish Times in November, that she had repeatedly requested a medical termination over a three-day period. He said this was refused because the foetal heartbeat was still present and she was told “this is a Catholic country”. She died of septicaemia and E.coli, documented before death, a week after she was admitted.

A seven-member investigating team was announced by the HSE on November 19th, five days after Savita’s death was first publicised. Following objections by Mr Halappanavar to the inclusion on the inquiry team of members of staff from the Galway hospital, they were replaced.

It has been chaired by Prof Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s Hospital, University of London. It was tasked with looking into any shortcomings in Ms Halappanvar’s care.

“My client is anxious about the report. He is hoping it tells the truth, that it will show how poorly his beloved wife was treated,” said Mr O’Donnell. “He knows the truth. He was there by her side through all of it and has been absolutely consistent in telling what happened.

“He has been very alone with all this. Despite having very good support from friends, he has no family here. So he has been brave and consistent and would not be fobbed off.”

Mr Halappanavar was initially promised a copy of the report by Minister for Health James Reilly by the end of last month. He has expressed his disappointment at ongoing delays in relation to his receipt of the report.

He and Ms Halappanavar’s family in southern India were extremely distressed at the leaking of a draft copy of the report in mid-February.
The inquest into Ms Halappanavar’s death begins hearing evidence in Galway on April 8th and is expected to last at least one week.

Speaking in Dublin yesterday, Dr Reilly said Mr Halappanavar and his advisers would be given time to examine the report. “There will be an invitation extended to him to meet with the chairman and then to make any observations that he might wish to make which therefore could be incorporated into the report,” he said.