Dr Keelin O’Donoghue of CUMH (Cork University Maternity Hospital) spoke last week about the need for foetal anomaly scans as routine practice, as they are elsewhere worldwide. She expressed concern over the current provision of care to Ireland’s pregnant women, while most women have a dating ultrasound scan, they would not necessarily occur “at the right time by the right person in the right maternity units”.
Last February, a Dáil committee heard that roughly 36 per cent (23,300) of women who attended antenatal services in Ireland last year did not receive a foetal anomaly ultrasound. In Ireland, seven units provide both scans for all women attending, seven provide to a proportion of women, and five don’t have provision for foetal anomaly scans at all. The consultant Obstetrician pointed out that access to scanning across the country is not equal for all women, largely in the case of those outside of the Dublin area.