Dr. Noel Browne

Minster for health 1948 - 1951.

This piece I have tried to pay tribute to a great man who stood up for what he believed in despite opposition from his colleagues the church and the state. Dr Noel Browne Minster for health 1948 - 1951.


Attempts made by Irish governments between 1945-1953 to reform the health service to include health care for new mothers and their infants resulted in one of the country’s biggest controversies, subsequently known as the Mother and Child Scheme, of March/April 1951


Failure to introduce the Mother and Child Scheme was due to a number of factors involving the vested interests of the I.M.A. (Irish Medical Association) and the ability of non-parliamentary lobby groups to influence government policy. 

Dr. Browne’s attempt to bring in progressive legislation to provide free maternity care was fiercely resisted by the Catholic Church and the medical profession.