London, Nov 25: The probe into Savita Halappanavar's death will be completed before Christmas, Ireland's Health Minister has said, even as her distraught husband was considering lodging a complaint with the ombudsman to assert ownership of his wife's medical notes.
“I've made it very clear this investigation must be completed as expeditiously as possible and I now understand that will happen before Christmas and I may have an interim report in a matter of weeks,” James Reilly, the Health Minister, was quoted by the Irish Times as saying.
“I equally understand now that the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have become involved and they will do that as expeditiously as possible but until I get the report I can't say what the next step is. The report will certainly inform our next actions,” he added.
Mr. Reilly made his comments at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick on Saturday, having earlier met Savita Halappanavar's husband Praveen in a Galway city centre hotel.
Mr. Halappanavar said afterwards he was pleased to have finally met a government representative four weeks after his wife died at Galway University Hospital.
But he stressed to Mr. Reilly that he does not believe the Health Service Executive or HIQA are far-reaching enough.
“I'm just glad that we met and he just passed on his condolences to the family,” said Mr. Halappanavar, who was accompanied by his solicitor Gerard O'Donnell at the meeting. “It is (important) for the family because there is no comment or officials who called us or met us to pass on their condolences. So I will pass this on to Savita's family.”
“We also said why we need a public inquiry as well and he said he would look into it,” Mr. Halappanavar said.
Meanwhile, Mr. O'Donnell said he had taken instructions from his client to seek direction from the ombudsman on whether he or the Galway University Hospital owns her medical records.