Praveen Halappanavar ‘satisfied’ Hiqa report vindicates his account of events

Solicitor calls on Minister for Health to apologise and to meet with his client

The husband of the late Savita Halappanavar is satisfied the Hiqa report into her death again vindicates his account of what happened his wife at Galway University Hospital. It reiterates the findings of both the inquest into her death and the HSE investigation, Praveen Halappanavar's solicitor said last night.

Gerard O’Donnell said Mr Halappanavar, who received the Hiqa report yesterday lunchtime, noted the report identified 13 opportunities when her life might have been saved but were missed, and that some level of accountability was laid at the consultant obstetrician who treated her.

Mr O'Donnell told The Irish Times his client had had "only a brief opportunity" to read over the report as he had been at work yesterday. "It identifies 13 missed opportunities in Savita's care and that says it all. It vindicates again what my client has always maintained, that during the first four days she was in Galway University Hospital she was not provided with even the most basic level of care."

He said he and Mr Halappanavar noted it appeared some responsibility had been put on Dr Katherine Astbury in the report, although she is not named in the report. Dr Astbury was Ms Halappanavar's consultant obstetrician who led her treatment from October 22nd, 2012, the day after she was admitted to the Galway University Hospital with severe back pain.


The report says: “The most senior clinical decision maker in the provision of care to Savita Halappanavar at any given time should have been suitably clinically experienced and competent to interpret clinical findings and act accordingly. Ultimate clinical accountability rested with the consultant obstetrician who was leading Savita Halappanavar’s care.”

Mr O’Donnell said his client would have time to read the report over the weekend and may issue a statement on it next week.

He called on Minister for Health Dr James Reilly to now apologise to Mr Halappanavar and his late wife's family, the Yalagis family in India, for the treatment Savita got.

“He has never apologised and we still have not heard from him regarding a meeting with him,” he said. Though he met the Minister on two occasions late last year, Mr Halappanavar has been seeking a meeting with the Minister since publication in June of the HSE report into her death. “We would like to hear from him,” he said.

Dr Reilly, when asked about Mr O'Donnell's request last night, said: "I will be very happy to meet Praveen Halappanavar. I have met him twice. For one reason or another our paths didn't cross . . . but I am certainly available and will be more than happy to meet with him. And as I say I deeply regret that our health services failed him in such a terrible way."

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times