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Proposals demonstrate ownership/control of maternity hospital will lie with Church - Maireád Farrell TD

12 November, 2021 - by Mairéad Farrell TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Public Expenditure & Reform Mairéad Farrell TD has said the latest proposals from the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG), which will leave the ownership/control of the maternity hospital with de facto Catholic lay trusts, shows the Church will remain in charge.
Teachta Farrell said this will mean women’s lives could be put at needless risk from the Catholic ethos, and the state will be building a new €800-million-plus hospital on land that will be be owned by a private entity that’s outside public control.

The Galway-West TD said this is evidence that the SVHG were only willing to grant access to the land if they were given licence to run the hospital.
Teachta Farrell said:
"The 2019 Day Report on the role of the private voluntary sector in public funded healthcare recommended that all new hospitals should be built on land that is owned by the State.

"The new maternity hospital should absolutely be adhering to this recommendation. And yet the sweeping powers to be exercised by SVHG over the National Maternity Hospital are set to be reinforced by the operating license that is a fundamental condition of the Religious Sisters of Charities lease.
"Why would we want to allow a scenarios where the state will be leasing the land for 100 years on which the hospital will be built?

"Think about this; would you want to build a house on land that someone else owns and could choose to sell at a later date? Of course not.

"So why would we allow a publicly funded hospital to follow such an arrangement? Why would we allow a religious order to instil it’s religion on a supposedly secular healthcare facility, when we know this has put women’s lives at risk in the past?

"It’s high time the government got real and dealt with this matter."

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