Minister Harris has to answer questions over ownership and ethos of new national maternity hospital

April 20, 2017

Social Democrat co-leader Róisín Shortall TD is calling for an immediate halt to the hand-over of the new National Maternity Hospital to a religious order and for full details of the agreement over its ownership and ethos to be published.

Deputy Shortall said: “The decision about the ownership and governance of the new National Maternity Hospital was made in secrecy and lacks any transparency and public accountability. There are too many unanswered questions from the Minister and we need to see an immediate halt to the current process so that these questions about the ownership and the issue of ethos can be addressed.”

“Five questions I have are:

  1. What is the justification for gifting a €300 million hospital, paid for with public money, to a private interest?
  2. Why not just lease the site from the Religious Sisters of Charity?
  3. Will the Minister publish the details of the agreement that was reached over the governance and ownership of the new National Maternity Hospital?
  4. What assurances will women have that a Catholic ethos will not determine the range of medical interests available to them in the new hospital?
  5. What will the exact composition of the new corporate entity be and why does the St Vincent’s Healthcare group have any place in that structure?