Two counties still without any GPs offering abortion as just 13pc sign up to the service

Irish Independent

Cormac McQuin

Just 13pc of GPs have signed up to provide abortion services and there are still two counties where there are no family doctors offering terminations.

The latest figures show that there are now 337 GPs around the country who have signed the contract to provide the service. . . [Full text]

Doctors issued with new ethical guidelines on providing abortion

Medical Council guide sets out obligations for doctors with conscientious objections

The Irish Times

30 August, 2019

Martin Wall

The Medical Council has issued revised ethical guidance for doctors following the introduction of abortion legislation earlier this year.

A new version of its ethics document provides updated guidance for doctors who have conscientious objections to particular forms of treatment, procedures or care, not just in relation to abortion.

The amended guide to professional conduct and ethics for doctors says termination of pregnancy is legally permissible within the provisions of legislation introduced in 2018. . . [Full text]

Over 1,300 nursing and midwifery posts in Irish hospitals are being left vacant

One in six midwifery posts are being left vacant.

thejournal.ie

Rónán Duffy

THERE ARE OVER 1,300 vacant nursing and midwifery posts in Irish hospitals due to the HSE’s effective recruitment freeze, the INMO has said today.

Phil Ní Sheaghdha of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has said the figures demonstrate that the government is “refusing to fill frontline healthcare posts” and that patient care is being compromise as a result. . . [Full text]

Simon Harris tells HSE poor coverage of abortion services in west and north west ‘is a real concern’

thejournal.ie

Gráinne Ní Aodha

MINISTER FOR HEALTH Simon Harris has said that the current provision of abortion services in the north and north west is “a very real concern” and is “not acceptable”.

The minister made the comments during a meeting with the HSE in May about the progress in rolling out abortion services at all of Ireland’s maternity hospitals and units.

Abortion services, as legislated for in the Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018, were in place in nine maternity hospitals and units across the country from the 1 January this year. . . .

. . . as it stands, just one more maternity hospital – the Coombe – has also introduced the service, bringing the total to 10 out of 19 maternity hospitals and units. . . . [Full text]

Staff objections delaying full abortion services at Letterkenny University Hospital

Highland Radio

News Highland

The full roll out of termination of early pregnancy services has been prevented at Letterkenny University Hospital because of conscientious objection complications.

It’s one of three hospitals affected nationally with the Department of Health stating that it will be asking the HSE to fully implement abortion services in all maternity hospitals and units by September. . . [Full text]

Conscientious objection prevents full rollout of abortion services in several maternity hospitals

The Health Department said it will be asking the HSE to fully implement abortion services in all maternity hospitals and units by September.

TheJournal.ie

Gráinne Ní Aodha

THE FULL ROLLOUT of termination of early pregnancy services has been prevented in at least three maternity hospitals because of conscientious objection complications, documents seen by TheJournal.ie show.

Following the Eighth Amendment referendum last year, Health Minister Simon Harris gave 1 January as the date by which abortion services for pregnancies at 12 weeks or under would be provided. . .

. . . The rollout of full abortion services has been slower than expected: although there is some level of abortion services available in all maternity hospitals, just ten out of 19 maternity hospitals or units offer full termination of pregnancy services. . . . [Full text]

Irish obstetrician defies health minister

“I will not be forced and bullied by politicians or by the media into performing or facilitating abortions”

Sean Murphy*

Speaking at the All-Ireland Rally for Life, Dr. Trevor Hayes, an obstetrician at St. Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny, said that he and three consultant colleagues at the hospital advised the HSE (Irish Health Services) that they would not peform abortions.

“A great number of my colleagues are unwilling to perform surgical abortions,” he said, “and they say they will not be forced to carry out this life ending procedure”

[The politicians] want to force doctors like me to do so, and that’s not going to happen.

Would the GPs who are attacking pro-life obstetricians on Twitter perform a late-term surgical abortion? Again, I suspect most of them would not. So why are they trying to force other people to be involved in something so repugnant to those of us who adhere to the first principle of medicine, which is “do no harm”?

Shame on them for failing to respect conscientious rights of their colleagues in medicine.  But we won’t be bullied by them either.

Doctors threaten legal action in abortion services row

The Business Post

Francesca Comyn

The issue of GP-led abortion services has proved highly contentious for various reasons including conscientious objection, workload and an existing services contract perceived by many to be sub-standard

The professional body for GPs is facing the threat of legal action from its members if it does not row back on its refusal to hold and extraordinary general meeting on the provision of abortion services. . .[Full text]

GPs are ignoring democracy on abortion issues

Doctors’ group is demanding members fall into line without expressing their concerns

The Irish Times

Breda O’Brien

The board of the Irish College of General Practitioners, the professional body for general practice in Ireland, has refused for the second time requests from some of its members to hold an emergency general meeting to debate motions on abortion.  

Why is the ICGP so afraid of democracy? This is only the latest twist in a long-running saga that began when Simon Harris announced in a radio interview that abortion services were to be GP-led.

This was the first that GPs had heard of it. They were already over-worked, highly stressed and leaving the profession in droves. Many were stunned that there had been absolutely no consultation with GPs. . . [Full text]

Introducing abortion: The story so far

The Medical Independent

Catherine Reilly

The introduction of routine abortion services up to 12 weeks of pregnancy has represented a seismic change in Irish reproductive healthcare.

However, the political rush to commence services in January has led to some access problems. Moreover, medical bodies needed to scramble to finalise clinical guidance on time and sections of the Medical Council’s ethical guide, including on conscientious objection, are still under review.

A spokesperson for the Medical Council told the Medical Independent (MI) that revised wording will be “brought to the Council for approval followed by publication in April”. Conscientious objection and the definition of referral are matters of huge contention to pro-choice and pro-life doctors, contributing to what some describe as a fracturing of general practice, where most terminations are taking place (see panel on page 5). . . .[Full text]