Women’s health activists have accused Health Minister Stephen Donnelly of being “hidden” as her department finalizes legal plans for the transfer to the National Maternity Hospital (NMH).
Opposition and government delegates, as well as activists, are concerned that the hospital is not entirely state-owned and are looking to meet with Mr Donnelly to discuss the matter.
Plans to move Holles Street Hospital to Dublin 2 to the Saint Vincent University Hospital campus have been plagued by delays amid concerns about the future craft and religious ethos. It is understood that the legal framework dealing with issues related to site ownership is nearing completion and will be presented to the Government shortly.
Academic and activist Ailbhe Smyth said that before the signing of contracts “cast iron guarantees” were needed around the property. He requested a full debate from Dáil on the conditions of the move.
“There should be no gray areas in national maternity property or government,” she said, adding that “any small print” should be “made readable”.
Mrs. Smyth said he was eager to see “everything out there and on the table,” but requests for meetings with the minister have not been acknowledged.
“One of the main problems we deal with is that we have a hidden minister.”
The Department of Health did not answer questions about the matter.
Concerns have been raised about setting up a holding company to run St Vincent’s and the new maternity ward. St Vincent’s Holdings CLG is being set up as St Vincent’s owners, the Sisters of Charity, stop participating in the hospital.
Peter Boylan, a former NMH teacher, said the new hospital should not be a subsidiary of the St. Vincent Hospital Holdings Group “because this is fraught with risk.”
“St Vincent’s Holdings is a private company with a Catholic ethos in its constitution. The risks associated with this for women’s health in the future are immense and I don’t think they will be fully appreciated by many people. “
TD Social Democrat Cian O’Callaghan previously told the Dáil that “the core values of St Vincent’s Holdings’ constitution are identical to those of the Sisters of Charity.” Donnelly said last summer that he was warned that canon law would not affect the company.
Boylan said he wrote to Mr. Donnelly to explain his fears and that he expects a response. He said political promises were made that the hospital would be state-owned on state land, but that “instead, St. Vincent’s offers the state no more than a 99 lease. years on earth “.
Three members of the government have joined a multi-party TD group from Oireachtas set up to put pressure on Mr Donnelly on the issue. John Lahart of Fianna Fáil, Jennifer Carroll MacNeill of Fine Gael and Neasa Hourigan of the Green Party signed a letter sent by Social Democrat co-leader Róisín Shortall to Mr Donnelly on April 28 to request a meeting to discuss the issue of property public hospital.
At the Dáil last week, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he accepted “points that have been made about the independence of the new hospital and that all state policies would no doubt follow the hospital’s policy and the operational functioning of the hospital. ‘hospital’.
Martin said he would return to Mr Donnelly “with the primary aim of conveying his views, but also seeking a resolution once and for all, because the current situation is not at all optimal in terms of women’s health. “.