Doctors express concern about hospital resources to deliver abortion services

Doctors have expressed concern for the resources and preparedness of hospitals to deliver abortion services.

At an EGM tonight the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist discussed a motion put forward in December expressing concern for“inadequate” resources.

Under the rules of the institute – the national professional and training body for Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Ireland – the meeting was scheduled four weeks after the motion was raised and took place this evening.

Following the meeting, the institute said the motion was not voted on but it was debated with many doctors still concerned for the “safety and readiness of such new services”.

“Members had a good discussion, with some expressing concerns about the preparedness in the ground for providing abortion care,” Dr Cliona Murphy, chair of the institute said.

“This new service is still evolving and will take time to fully implement. Responsibility for implementation lies with the HSE. It is essential that appropriate resources to support clinicians involved in our hospitals is provided.”

Following the introduction of the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Act into law on January 1, nine of the 19 maternity units and hospitals are providing surgical termination of pregnancy services. A surgical termination is required after nine weeks.

Health Minister Simon Harris has also confirmed that more than 200 GPs are to provide abortion services throughout the country.

The meeting took place at the Royal College of Physicians and was closed to the media.

The institute also said HSE was responsible for the provision of abortion services and that it has no role or responsibility in their delivery.

However, it said it was appropriate for its members to express concern how those services were implemented, adding that better resources and supports should be made available.

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