The women of Ireland deserve better than the Minister doing a grubby backroom deal in secret

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly must come before the Oireachtas Health Committee to answer questions about the proposed relocation of the national maternity hospital to St Vincent’s campus – before he signs off on the deal, according to Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall.

“I am very concerned that this deal is now a fait accompli and it is going to be signed off, behind closed doors, before the terms have been independently scrutinised. The only documents that have been published to date, concerning this deal, are those that have been lodged in the Company Registration Office by St Vincent’s Healthcare Group. This is not good enough. There has been a complete absence of transparency at every step in this process.

“The controversy concerning the relocation of national maternity hospital has now raged for nearly ten years, but one central question has never been answered: Why does the State intend handing over a publicly-funded €1 billion new maternity hospital to the ownership and control of a private company?

“That is not the only question that urgently needs to be answered. Health Minister Stephen Donnelly must now explain:

  1. Why is the Minister handing over control of a new €1 billion publicly-funded maternity hospital to a private entity?
  2. Why has the Minister repeatedly refused to specify the women’s reproductive procedures which will be available at the new hospital?
  3. Why is the new holding company indemnifying the Religious Sisters of Charity – and what are the implications of this for both the new maternity hospital and the tax payer?
  4. Why is the Minister promoting private medicine over the public interest and embarking on a deal which is at complete variance with Sláintecare?

“The Minister has kept the Irish public in the dark, about this deal, long enough. If he has nothing to hide, then he must come before the Oireachtas Health Committee and answer these, and other, questions before he signs off on this deal.

“This hospital, when it is constructed, will be used by generations of women. They deserve better than the Minister doing a grubby backroom deal in secret. The women of Ireland need answers. The Minster must now provide them, before it’s too late.”

28 April, 2022


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