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Rotunda ‘has not received’ termination of pregnancy services funding

The Rotunda Hospital in Dublin has not received funding for termination of pregnancy (TOP) services and increasing numbers of patients are presenting to its emergency department (ED) for post-termination scans.

According to a hospital board meeting in May, there was “still ambiguity” on the funding breakdown for termination service providers from the RCSI Hospitals Group. “The Master raised concerns by GPs with regard to the HSE Affidea scanning service which has no provision for post TOP scanning.  This has resulted in a large number of patients presenting to the emergency department for scans.”

A Rotunda spokesperson told the Medical Independent that no funding had been received in the year to date for TOP services. They confirmed that surgical TOP services commenced in April. Patients were still presenting to the ED for post TOP scans with “an increasing number of referrals”. Meanwhile, the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital also confirmed no funding had been received. “The Coombe is seeing a number of GP referrals and self-referrals from women who are experiencing problems and complications following TOP in the community/elsewhere.”

A HSE spokesperson said Hospital Groups were notified of allocations under TOP development funding in December 2018. Some €12 million was provided in the budget with €7 million for acute hospitals.

“All development funding is held by the Department of Health and released to the HSE when a detailed business case is submitted, specifying how the approved funding is being spent. The Department will then release the funding on a quarterly basis …

“All Hospital Groups submitted details of how their TOP allocation was being spent, and a submission was then made to the Department of Health to seek a drawdown of funding. The submission is being considered by the Department, and it is expected that funding will be made available to the Hospital Groups in September (the next available drawdown date).”

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