Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Fine Gael continuing down failed Fianna Fáil path as they allow private clinics in children’s hospital – O’Reilly

20 May, 2019 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Speaking this morning, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD has said Fine Gael are continuing down a failed path as they stick to Fianna Fáil policy of allowing private clinics in the new children’s hospital.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“There have been many scandals and debacles regarding the new children’s hospital and the latest is the revelation that the hospital will include a number of private clinics for consultants to run outpatient clinics outside of their public commitments.

“The Minister for Health stated to me in a parliamentary question reply that he was doing so as ‘part of the National Contract for Consultants negotiated in 2008’ under the then Fianna Fáil government.

“It is absolutely ludicrous that the Minister would just roll over and continue down this failed path, rather than challenge it.

“The public who already being fleeced with the huge cost overrun are now being asked to pay for the building of private clinics – it is totally ridiculous.

“What’s more is this decision contravenes a fundamental principle of Sláintecare which is the removal of private care from public hospitals.

“Any Minister for Health who was up to the job would show leadership in this instance, but it is clear that Fine Gael just want to continue down the failed path of Fianna Fáil which is the privatisation of our health services.” ENDS

Note: Please see the PQ on which this statement is based below

For Written Answer on : 08/05/2019
Question Number(s): 870 Question Reference(s): 19374/19
Department: Health
Asked by: Louise O'Reilly T.D.


To ask the Minister for Health his views on whether it is fair that public funding is being used for the construction of private clinics to be used for private medicine at the new national children's hospital; and if the inclusion of same is a direct contradiction to the aims of Sláintecare


The vast majority of services in the new children’s hospital will be public services.   Within the plan for the hospital, an area has been planned which carries the designation of "private clinic".  As part of the National Contract for Consultants negotiated in 2008, some consultants holding specific contracts are entitled to engage in private outpatient practice outside of their public commitment and this commitment must be conducted on site, that is, in the hospital they are contracted with. As a result, private outpatient clinics may be held on the public hospital campus but these clinics must be held outside contracted hours.  The new children's hospital is obliged to provide such facilities for consultants holding such contracts.  The proposal is for consultants to pay a fee for use of the rooms and other operational costs.  

The Report of the Independent Review Group established to examine private activity in public hospitals has been received and is being examined in my Department. It is a comprehensive examination of private activity in public hospitals and contains a small number of recommendations. When the recommendations have been examined and considered in my Department and by other relevant Government Departments, it is intended to bring proposals to Government and to publish the Report thereafter.

Connect with Sinn Féin