"Some feel that a more phased roll-out would have been better."

The Chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (IOG) has said that members would like to see a national co-ordinator appointed by the Health Service Executive to oversee the country's abortion services and allow one name to be responsible.

The IOG held an extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday evening to discuss safety fears regarding the newly legislated termination of pregnancy service.

A single motion had been tabled which stated that: "Because of risks to patient safety due to inadequate preparation, the implementation of forthcoming legislation in relation to termination of pregnancy cannot commence on Jan 1st 2019 and should not take place until these risks are addressed."

A spokesperson from the Institute released following the meeting, late Wednesday evening, to say that "responsibility for implementation lies with the HSE."

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Cliona Murphy said it that main concern mentioned by members was the "short interval between signing and enactment" of termination services. 

"Ordinarily you'd have legislation, there would be a lead-in period before legislation is enacted...in this case, we had a very short interval. Now, there were public reasons for that where people really did want the service up and running but for practitioners, they would feel that that was very short to bring in such a large change management project."

She also mentioned that many attendees focused on "operational issues", such as staffing medical employees who would be willing to perform terminations. 

"That has been difficult, because not everyone is happy. You're entitled to conscientious objection and some people would have conscientious objection to abortion."

Dr Murphy admitted that that has proven difficult in some hospitals. However, she said those objecting are not obstructing planning for the service.

Murphy also mentioned that the appointment of a national co-ordinator was among the topics of conversation. 

An employee of The Coombe Hospital, Dr Murphy mentioned that they "have decided that they would prefer to wait to have everything all systems working correctly" before they commit to providing the service. 

She concluded by saying "the fact is, that women are better off than they were two months ago in crisis", and commended staff around the country involved in terminations for their continued work. 

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