Maternity services under strain at Kerry General Hospital

Maternity services at Kerry General Hospital are under enormous strain according to Dr Mary Mc Caffrey. The consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Kerry General says conditions are potentially dangerous. The warning follows a statement from The National Maternity Hospital, in which they announced a cap on the number of births they will allow to protect mothers safety. The issues in Kerry are linked to problems recruiting staff.Last year almost one and a half thousand babies were born in Kerry General Hospital and the 400 bed facility is finding it difficult to cope with the steady increase in births. The Department of Health has been made aware of the situation but so far there has been no increase in the funding provided. A difficulty recruiting midwives has also contributed to the problem which Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Mary Mc Caffrey describes as potentially dangerous. Despite this Radio Kerry News has learned there are no plans to impose a ceiling on the number of births, similar to other hospitals. Limerick Regional Hospital may follow in the footsteps of Holles Street and impose a cap on births, sparking fears of a national maternity crisis.