Press Release

Minister Harris Marks World Prematurity Day 2017 and Launches Parents’ Handbook for Newborn Babies in Special Care

Minister for Health Simon Harris marked World Prematurity Day today Friday 17 November with a visit to the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin. Noting that 1 in 16 babies are born too early the Minister said that ‘ensuring our preterm babies receive the highest quality of medical care is central to achieving healthy and happy outcomes for both baby and family. It is equally important that parents and families of such babies are provided with the support they need, at a time of uncertainty and emotional upheaval.’

The Minister said he is ‘pleased to be part of a Government which has recognised the pressures that families with preterm babies face with the recent extension of maternity leave and benefit where babies are born prematurely. He continued that he was ‘delighted to launch “Newborn Babies in Special Care: A Parents’ Handbook” and hoped that it continues to reassure parents during a time of uncertainty and emotional upheaval’.

‘World Prematurity Day allows us to not only celebrate the achievements of our Neonatal Intensive Care Units which have brought such joy to many families, but also to show our appreciation to the staff who deliver these vital services so professionally and passionately’, the Minister stated.

The Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to the progressive development of maternity services. Noting how the Maternity Strategy strap line ‘Creating a Better Future Together’ is illustrated every day around the country by parents and healthcare professionals alike, the Minister concluded ‘long may that continue as we strive to provide a world-class service to premature babies and their families all around the country.’