Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Dentist's widower may amend report

Savita's husband Praveen Halappanavar
Savita's husband Praveen Halappanavar

The husband of the late Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar will be able to make changes to an official report into her medical care, it has been confirmed.

Health Minister James Reilly said the final draft of the Health Service Executive's (HSE) clinical review will be personally handed to Praveen Halappanavar.

But he stressed this was not the final version as Mr Halappanavar - who has so far refused to co-operate with the inquiry - may want to contribute to the report before its publication.

"It would be allow him and his advisers time to examine the report," said Dr Reilly, who has not seen the draft version.

"There will be an invitation offered to him to attend to meet the chairman and then to make any observations he may wish to make which could be incorporated in to the report."

Dr Reilly said any adjustments would be made before the final report is brought before cabinet.

Three inquiries were launched into the death of Mrs Halappanavar on October 28 at University Hospital Galway. She was 17 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the hospital a week earlier, but suffered a miscarriage and subsequently died of septicaemia. Her husband claims that doctors refused to carry out an abortion as a foetal heartbeat was present.

The HSE inquiry chairman, Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George's Hospital, University of London, was granted access to all relevant staff and personnel files and records.

The long-awaited report had originally been promised before the end of February, when a leaked draft copy claimed blood tests from the day she was admitted were not followed up on. It also found doctors did not respond immediately to calls to attend to her because they were too busy, and it warns that abortion on medical grounds was not considered early enough in her care.

Elsewhere the Health Information and Quality Authority is also investigating her death, while an inquest by coroner Ciaran MacLoughlin in Galway will be held next month.

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