I have listened to and read with interest the debate on maternity services at the DGH.
It defies all logic that a hospital offering a fully integrated midwifery and obstetric department in an area which has grown enormously over the past 25 years should consider downgrading that service.
Depending to whom one listens, it is argued that this is necessary for safety reasons.
Most of us will be aware of someone who has needed emergency surgical intervention during labour and therefore it is difficult to understand and accept that it will be safer, for a mother who was expected to have an uneventful delivery to need a transfer of some 40/50 minutes to the Conquest at this crucial time.
Will it take a mortality as a direct result of this decision before someone acts to stop this madness?
We are told that the medics involved support this plan. Could the reason for this be anything to do with those medics being currently employed by the hospital?
I prefer to listen to Miss West (Herald letters April 12) and Mr Valentine (Herald letters April 19) who are not under the influence of their paymasters.
If on the other hand, this is actually about funding the department, perhaps it is time for the present management to move aside and let local people run their local hospital and provide a full local service which we all deserve and demand.