The HSE should have a national coordinator who is responsible for the introduction and implementation of new abortion services says that Chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr Cliona Murphy.
She was commenting following an emergency general meeting of the Institute at which members expressed concern at the level of preparedness for the introduction of abortion services. Dr Peter Boylan had been an advisor, but did not have any operational accountability.
The short interval between the signing of the legislation and its enactment was not enough given the immense change in the management of the process, she told RTE’s Morning Ireland.
Some members of the Institute were frustrated with the operational issues involved. There was also the issue that abortion care is a multidisciplinary effort that requires nurses and a team, not all of whom will be willing to assist.
Those tasked with coordinating rosters will not alone have to factor in who is available for work, but also those who are willing to work on such procedures, she said.
“People are entitled to conscientious objection, but that it proving a difficulty in some hospitals.”
Dr Murphy said that in hospitals where abortions had already been performed there was very good feedback about the level of aftercare with one person commenting “how did we send women away before?”
Some members of the Institute feel that a more phased roll out would have been better, she added. Rostering, consent forms and local issues all need to be ironed out.
She asked if there was a blue print for the rolling out of new abortion services in a new country, but acknowledged that the Institute had received good support from their sister body in the UK and from the World Health Oranisation.
“The fact is that women are better off than they were two months ago.”