“I fully support the growing campaign of civil society organisations and individuals who are rightly demanding that the state should own and control this important asset which will be a key element of the healthcare system for women.”

Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall TD has today strongly backed the growing campaign for the new National Maternity Hospital to be publicly owned and run.

Deputy Shortall was speaking ahead of hosting a briefing in Leinster House,  amid concerns that current government plans will see the new €350m hospital effectively owned by St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group.

She said: “There was enormous public unease when it emerged more than a year and a half ago that the Department of Health was planning to gift ownership of the new hospital to a private Catholic company.

“Since then, we’ve been told repeatedly by the Minister for Health that his department is close to finalising an agreement to reverse that decision and ensure that the new hospital building will be owned by the State and independently governed.

“Yet the original secret agreement between St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group and the Department of Health fell far short of guaranteeing full public ownership and independent clinical governance of the new facility.

“I fully support the growing campaign of civil society organisations and individuals who are keeping this important issue firmly in the public spotlight and rightly demanding that the state should own and control this enormous asset which will be a key element of the healthcare system for women.”

ENDS

22nd November 2018