Joint Committee on Health and Children – World Prematurity Day 2012: Discussion with Irish Premature Babies Organisation

22nd November 2012

The report, Too Little, Too Late?, states that we do not have a national neonatal health policy and criticises the fragmented implementation of policy and the significant disparities across the country. I ask the witnesses to elaborate on this geographical lottery. This brings me to the issue of the transport service. I am trying to understand the precise nature of the obstacles. I see that the service is available on a nine to five basis, seven days per week but logic tells us that babies do not always arrive during office hours. What are the obstacles to a 24 hour service?

I ask for more information on the other supports available to families. I have been working on the issue of pre and post-natal depression, which affects between 10% and 20% of women. They are being told that they have to wait nine months before they can get the appropriate services but this is a critical time for bonding with their children.

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