Staff at University Hospital Galway have been subjected to a series of abusive calls in connection with the death of Savita Halappanavar at the hospital last October.
The hospital was thrown into the global spotlight when the young Indian woman died from septicaemia after suffering a miscarriage. She and her husband are believed to have repeatedly requested a termination once it became apparent that the foetus would not live but were allegedly told that this was not possible as Ireland ‘is a Catholic country’.
Savita’s death sparked a heated debate on the need for abortion legislation in Ireland and the Galway Independent can reveal that this has resulted in a number of calls to the hospital from members of the public who are unhappy with the manner in which her case was handled.
Responding to the calls, a spokesperson for HSE West said that support and information meetings had been held with staff, who are being encouraged to talk to management about their issues.
“Staff at the switch board at University Hospital Galway have been advised to direct any calls from the public in relation to this matter to the HSE’s Consumer Affairs and Advocacy Unit, which operates a freephone number and also an email address for feedback from the public,” said the spokesperson.
“Support/information meetings have been held with staff who are directly concerned with the investigations underway and these meetings will continue throughout the process. All staff are bring encouraged to raise any issues with management and full support will be provided to any staff member.”
Meanwhile, Savita’s husband Praveen has released a detailed diary of his experiences in the days leading up to his wife’s death on Sunday 28 October.
In the emotional piece, printed in the Daily Mail earlier this week, Praveen recalls that the couple were “over the moon” when Savita fell pregnant and that both were looking forward to the due date on 30 March.
He revealed that Savita was hoping for a girl and found the tragic miscarriage on Sunday 21 October “unbearable”, compounded by the fact that the foetus was still alive and could not be removed.
Mr Halappanavar also recounted how his wife’s condition deteriorated over a number of days, before she passed away on Sunday evening hand-in-hand with her devastated husband.