Government approves redress scheme for symphysiotomy victims

AUDIO: Procedure was carried out on some 1,500 women between the 1920s and 1980s

The government has approved a scheme for payments for the victims of symphysiotomy.

The scheme will offer ex-gratia payments to the hundreds of women who underwent the procedure where the pelvis was cut during childbirth.

This means the payments will be made without the State recognising any liability or legal obligation.

The government had appointed former Circuit Court Judge Yvonne Murphy last November to report on a possible redress scheme for the women affected.

Some survivors of the procedure had previously said that any court process could take too long and that many could die before their case is heard.

The procedure was carried out on about 1,500 women between the 1920s and 1980s. Around 250 of these women are still alive.

The survivors will be entitled to payments of between €50,000 and €150,000. The procedure left many survivors with serious health issues.

But Health Minister James Reilly says the question of a State apology for the survivors does not arise.