9% drop in number of births at Portiuncula Hospital last year

The number of births at two of the Shannonside’s maternity hospitals has dropped with Portiuncula Hospital the worst affected.

New figures reveal that the number of babies born at the Ballinasloe facility decreased by more than 9pc last year.

HSE statistics show that births were down at the hospital from 1,816 in 2016 to 1,668 in 2017.

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The number of babies born in Sligo Hospital also dropped slightly in the same period from 1,360 to 1,310.

Births at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar have risen slightly – up from 2,107 to 2,114.

Earlier this year a review into maternity service at Portiuncula Hospital revealed numerous failings at the hospital over several years.

Krysia Lynch, chair of the maternity advocacy group AIMS Ireland says that some women who looked at the report’s findings may not have got a good feeling about Portiuncula and may have opted to go elsewhere like University College Hospital in Galway.