Press Release

257 applications for Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme

257 applications for Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme

At least 257 applications have been received to date for the Government’s Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme, the Department of Health has confirmed today.

Many of the applications are from women in their late 80s or early 90s who have applied within the stipulated time period. Applications continue to come in at an increasing rate.

Applications are being assessed by Former High Court Judge Maureen Harding Clark. The scheme has around €34 million available and participants will receive awards at three levels – €50,000, 100,000 and €150,000.

The Scheme is designed to be simple, straightforward and non-adversarial, and aims to minimise the stress for all the women concerned. It was designed following meetings with all three support groups.

Women may opt out of the scheme at any stage in the process, up to the time of accepting their awards, if they wish to pursue a legal action. No one will waive their right to proceed with a court cases as a pre-condition of applying to the scheme. If they wish, women may obtain legal or professional advice to help in preparing to submit an application to the Payment Scheme, but this is not necessary.

The High Court has also confirmed that the scheme takes into account the needs of any woman with diminished mental capacity arising from dementia or other factors. In such cases another person may make an application on her behalf.