‘Murky National Maternity Hospital deal must be scrutinised’ says Northside TDPadraig Conlon 03 May 2022
Social Democrats Health Spokesperson Róisín Shortall says the government cannot sign off on the proposed new national maternity hospital deal ‘while its terms are still shrouded in mystery.’
“It has been reported that the cabinet intends signing off on this deal today, while very serious questions about the proposed relocation of the national maternity hospital remain outstanding,” the Dublin North West TD said.
“Those questions are:
- What is known about the new company, St Vincent’s Holdings (SVH), to which the Govt is handing over control of a €1 billion publicly-funded hospital?
- What conditions did the Vatican attach to this company?
- What was the role of Stembridge Ltd and Porema Ltd – companies associated with tens of thousands of offshore companies – in establishing SVH?
- Is there anything preventing part or all of the company assets of SVH being sold or transferred?
- Why has the value of SVHG been reduced from €661million in 2018 to €204m currently?
- Why is SVH indemnifying the Religious Sisters of Charity past and present – what will this cover and what are the implications for the tax payer?
- Why has the Minister repeatedly refused to specify the women’s reproductive procedures which will be available at the new hospital?
- Will the Minister publish the legal framework underpinning the proposed deal?
- Why are the deputy chair of the HSE board, Prof Deirdre Madden, and the patient advocate, Dr Sarah McLoughlin, opposing this deal and can the Minister address their serious concerns?
- Why is the Minister promoting private medicine over the public interest and embarking on a deal which is at complete variance with Sláintecare?
“Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has been invited to appear before the Health Committee next week to address these, and other, concerns but has yet to confirm whether he intends to attend. At a very minimum, he must appear at the Committee next week before the cabinet gives this deal – which can best be described as murky – the go-ahead.
“Despite the length of time this controversy has swirled – nearly ten years – there has been little to no public-scrutiny of the deal, the apparent terms of which have changed at various stages throughout this process.
“The least that the Irish public deserve, is full transparency and accountability from this government about such a significant public investment in women’s healthcare.
“We have seen, with the reported imminent overturning of Roe v Wade in the United States, that rights, once secured, must continue to be fought and advocated for.
“We do not want to see a similar diminution in the reproductive rights of Irish women coming in by stealth as a consequence of this decision by government.”