Wednesday, 24 May 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
177. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health and Children if his attention has been drawn to issues associated with the noticeable increase and related complexity of pregnant women presenting with infectious disease; the likely funding which will be required to adequately provide required services; the percentage of these women which have been identified as asylum seekers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14720/00]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): I am aware that there has been an increase in the number and complexity of cases of pregnant women presenting with HIV and that a proportion of these are non-nationals. The specific needs of these patients are currently being reviewed to determine future practice in relation to care. However, the primary concern for health service providers and for me, as Minister, must be to ensure that the care and treatment needs of all patients presenting, regardless of their circumstances or background, are fully and fairly addressed.
Where individual health boards or hospitals are experiencing a greater workload as a result of an increase in the numbers presenting with particular conditions, it is a matter in the first place for the management of the agencies concerned to assess the situation, including the possible resource implications. These requirements can be considered in the context of the annual service planning and financial determinations.
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