December 5, 2023

St Luke’s promised new obstetrician to provide abortion services in Kilkenny


THE HEALTH Service Executive is already on the look-out for another consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist  for St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny.

This comes on the back of a commitment from Health Minister Simon Harris last night, confirming additional resources for St Luke’s to provide termination of pregnancy facilities. has learned that two positions for consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist advertised in the health service, neither of which are earmarked for St Luke’s.

A spokesperson for the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) today confirmed that a new consultant is being sought and has already being advertised for.

The spokesperson told “We are trying to get another consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and the position has been advertised. Additional resources have been allocated to provide for termination of pregnancy services this year, including the provision of services at St Luke’s,” the spokesperson said.

As of lunchtime today, the only consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist position that could find on the Health Service Executive jobsite was a position covering Cavan and Dublin.

In a separate search, a position for a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist was posted just yesterday for St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin and the National Maternity Hospital, also in Dublin.

Both positions specify ‘the post-holder will play a full part in the activity of the Department, including provision of acute and ongoing antenatal and gynaecology care. The post specifically will enhance the ability of the Department to provide dedicated onsite consultant led delivery service in the Delivery Suites’.

The positions state that the applicant must have two years certified postgraduate training in obstetrics/gynaecology.

The promise by Minister Harris to provide an extra consultant is in response  to the controversy over the weekend when a letter was sent to IEHG chief executive by four consultant obstetricians in St Luke’s saying that abortions should not be offered at the hospital.

The signatories of the letter said they ‘decided unanimously that the hospital is not an appropriate location for medical or surgical terminations.’

Commenting last night, Minister Harris said the Department of Health is adamant that all 19 maternity hospitals in Ireland should be able to provide abortions.


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