Kenny: Praveen Halappanavar should have had first sight of Savita report
13/02/2013 - 12:10:45
The Taoiseach has said the husband of Savita Halappanavar should have been the first to be briefed about the report of the investigation into her death.
Leaked extracts of a draft report by the investigation team - seen by The Evening Herald - say the blood infection that contributed to the 31-year-old's death went undiagnosed for three days at Galway University Hospital.
The report also says that staff at the hospital should have considered a termination to save Savita's life.
The draft also reveals a lack of clarity among key staff about who was responsible for acting on blood tests which showed a possible infection on the day Savita was admitted to hospital.
Health Minister James Reilly said the report is out for consultation, with interested parties given the opportunity to challenge inaccuracies.
He said the inquiry team had carried out its work within the set time.
“I owe it to Mr Halappanavar and Savita’s family. And I think we owe it to the women of Ireland as well, who have to be assured there is a safe service for them when they go to have their baby,” Dr Reilly said.
The Taoiseach told the Dáil the report should not have been leaked.
"I would have expected that normal courtesy should apply (and that Savita's) husband should be the first person to be briefed," he said.
"I am not going to make any comment about newspaper reports, because this report is not finalised and when it is, I would expect the first person to be briefed about the report should be her husband."
However, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the report should be published and debated in the Dáil now that its been leaked.
"Will the Government immediately publish the report and facilitate opportunities for deputies to speak in a debate?" he asked the Taoiseach. Enda Kenny indicated there would be no discussion of the report until a final report was supplied to James Reilly, and Praveen Halappanavar had been briefed.
Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher called for the report to be published immediately.
“We cannot have a situation where an issue as sensitive and serious as this is being reported on in the media, based on a partial leaking of the document, and the family concerned and the public do not have access to the full facts,” Mr Kelleher said.
He warned the partial leaking of the report could threaten the tone of the wider debate surrounding Mrs Halappanavar’s death, and insisted the Dáil needed to deal with facts to protect the integrity of its decision-making process.
Sinn Féin health spokesman Caoimhghin O Caolain said the details outlined in the report were too sensitive for the minister to wait 10 days before publishing it.
“I would urge the minister, seize the moment, not to leave this uncertainty out there,” Mr O Caolain said.
“Seize the moment and close the gap, request the report, peruse it and give it an open response.”
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