Waiting time to register births rises to 12 weeks

Cyberattack in May to blame for backlog in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow, says HSE

Photograph: Getty

Photograph: Getty

 

There is a waiting time of up to 12 weeks for birth registrations to be processed in the east of the country, the Health Service Executive has said.

Birth registration systems in the eastern registration region, which includes Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow, were “severely impacted” by the HSE cyberattack in May, it said.

Civil registration staff have been working overtime while additional staff have also been recruited to help address the backlog.

The online notification system for births from maternity hospitals has recently resumed and staff “are working hard to get through any resulting backlog as quickly as possible”, the HSE said.

An Italian woman living with her husband in Saggart, west Dublin, who wished to remain anonymous, said she has been waiting two months to register the birth of their baby. She said she is unable to secure a passport for her son as a result, and hasn’t seen her family in Italy for two years.

“We’ve been sending emails, calling and even went to the office on Lombard Street but no luck. Nothing has been done,” the woman told The Irish Times.

“Two months mightn’t seem like that much, but it is for me. I was supposed to go home at Christmas just to show my baby. It’s been two years now since we’ve been home and it looks like it’s not going to happen.

“I can’t apply for either an Irish or an Italian passport without the birth cert. Last week I went to the office with my husband but the security guy said no we had to do it online.

“I started crying because I couldn’t take it anymore. He felt a bit of pity so he managed to call somebody from inside. A girl came and we gave her the details. She said she would try and look into my application but the backlog was a lot.”

The woman said she is “desperate” to see her family.

“I have two grandmothers at home and all the time they’re saying, ‘I hope I will be alive to see the baby’. I would be heartbroken if they couldn’t see him. The baby is named after my grandpa, so it is a big thing for me,” she added.

“I’m getting very frustrated. It’s a big problem and everything is being blamed on the cyberattack. The cyberattack was in May.”

In a statement, the HSE said: “At present there is a waiting time of up to 12 weeks for birth registrations to be processed. We appreciate that this situation has resulted in an increased challenge for many people.”