The Government won’t contemplate any adjustments to the construction or governance of the brand new National Maternity Hospital within the coming weeks, regardless of Opposition issues concerning the possession of the positioning and potential spiritual affect.
Senior sources mentioned Ministers would as a substitute search to make use of the subsequent two weeks to elucidate the character of the settlement with St Vincent’s Hospital and search to reassure Green Party TDs and others who’ve expressed reservations concerning the proposed relocation.
Three sources with data of Government deliberations on the difficulty mentioned there was no intention to amend the agreements between the Health Service Executive, the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital. They mentioned the choice was paused however wouldn’t be modified and was prone to proceed earlier than lengthy.
“The Government is not going to reopen this agreement,” mentioned one supply. “In fact, the Government isn’t a party to the agreement. The agreement is between the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s, with the HSE’s approval. The Government just noted the agreement.”
Asked if the settlement could be modified, one other supply replied: “100 per cent not.” Another particular person concerned at Government degree mentioned: “The deal is agreed. Nobody at Cabinet had any real issues with the deal itself.”
Opposition leaders and a few Green Party TDs continued to specific doubts concerning the deal to construct the hospital on the St Vincent’s hospital campus in Dublin 4. The website was owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity, who’ve transferred their shareholding to a brand new firm, St Vincent’s Holdings CLG. The land for the brand new hospital is to be leased to the State for 299 years.
Sinn Féin chief Mary Lou McDonald mentioned the State should personal the positioning outright, whereas Labour chief Ivana Bacik known as for it to be acquired via a obligatory buy order.
The Just Transition Greens, a strain group throughout the social gathering, final evening mentioned there have been “very real concerns that, with the landlord and governing body being Catholic religious bodies, Catholic ethos will inform medical decisions as happens across the world in similar hospitals”.
Some campaigners say that as a result of the land is owned by an entity with hyperlinks to the Sisters of Charity, the hospital might be hampered by a non secular ethos in delivering components of girls’s healthcare resembling abortion and IVF.
This view is disputed by hospital workers, together with former NMH grasp Dr Rhona Mahony, who on Wednesday insisted that the hospital would have full independence and urged policymakers to proceed with the undertaking.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly final evening wrote to Oireachtas well being committee chairman Seán Crowe citing sturdy authorized ensures that the hospital would supply “all legally permissible services” together with abortion, “gender affirming surgery and assisted human reproduction”. The Minister mentioned he would attend the committee subsequent week to debate the undertaking.