Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Louise O’Reilly has said that questions still remain over the ownership and control of new National Maternity Hospital following today’s announcement that the Church will the transfer lands and capital of the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group to St Vincent’s Holdings (CLG).
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The go-ahead given by the Vatican for the transfer of the lands earmarked for the new National Maternity Hospital to a new charity group leaves more questions than answers.
“While the move may leave the new National Maternity Hospital a step closer, it also raises questions about ownership and control of the hospital.
“The decision to transfer the land from the Church to St Vincent’s Holdings (CLG) is somewhat welcome, but it raises the question of why it is not being gifted directly to the State?
“Today’s announcement does not offer the necessary clarity on these issues. The fundamental question remains unanswered; who will the hospital belong to?
“The move also raises questions around the structures and the role shareholders will play in the day-to-day operations of the hospitals under St Vincent’s Holdings (CLG).
“This issue has been fraught with debate and difficulties around what is a very straightforward matter – that the State should own and run the maternity hospital, and that it should have independence in its clinical operations.
“Furthermore, questions around the legal terms of ownership of the entire campus still remain.
“Three years and five days ago the Dáil voted unanimously to support a Sinn Féin Private Members Business motion to ensure ‘that the new National Maternity Hospital is built on the St. Vincent’s Hospital campus as quickly as possible, remains entirely within public ownership and has legally guaranteed independence from all non-medical influence in its clinical operations within the laws of the State’.
“These asks have still not been realised or clarified in spite of today’s announcement.
“There are legitimate questions that remain unanswered such as to who will own the hospital, and why the land was not handed over directly to the State.
“These questions need to be answered and the Minister for Health Simon Harris needs to clarify the situation.”