Sinn Fein spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Mairéad Farrell TD, has questioned why the Church is transferring the lands and capital of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group to a private holding company, called St Vincent’s Holdings (CLG), rather than the state itself.
This follows last month’s announcement that the Vatican has given the green light for the transfer of this land to a new private entity.
Teachta Farrell stated:
“I welcome the fact that there has been some movement in relation to the issue of the National Maternity Hospital, and the change in tone from An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar earlier today.
“However the issue of the ownership and control has not been resolved, and if anything there are now more question marks hanging over it.
“This hospital will be run on public money for the public good. So why on earth has the land been gifted to a private holding company?
“Why would we build a state run hospital at a cost of at least €500 million on private land? Why would we spend on at least 500 million building a hospital on land leased from a private company?
“Why is the government allowing a situation to arise whereby the land on which the hospital stands, could at a later date be bought, sold, leased or mortgaged? I’ve yet to hear anyone make a positive argument for this setup.
“Three years ago the Dáil voted unanimously to support a Sinn Féin Private Members motion to ensure the new National Maternity Hospital is built on the St. Vincent’s Hospital campus as quickly as possible, whilst remaining entirely within public ownership and independent of all non-medical influence in its clinical operations.
“Public health is a secular matter.”