Ireland’s new National Maternity Hospital ‘offers 100 per cent legal medical procedures’ – Stephen Donnelly


Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly said the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) will offer female patients “100 per cent medical procedures” under Irish law and the hospital has an “obligation” to provide them.

It comes as Cabinet delayed signing the final agreement to move the NMH from Holles Street to the St Vincent campus after senior ministers raised concerns this week.

While the Sisters of Charity have transferred their stake in the company that owns land for the new NMH, ministers, opposition politicians and others have questioned whether all services will be provided at the new hospital.

“Abortion, tubal ligation, gender-affirming surgery, assisted reproduction, all the services required by law are provided at the National Maternity Hospital,” Minister Donnelly told RTÉ Tomorrow Ireland Program.

“Not only is NMH’s independence fully protected, but the hospital is also committed to providing these services.

“It’s in the constitution, it’s going to be in their operating licenses and as a last resort there’s this so-called golden share that the Secretary of Health holds. So that, for whatever reason, the NMH is not doing what it is. To this the Secretary of Health can intervene directly to ensure that all services are provided.”

Minister Donnelly said the Government can therefore give a “rock solid guarantee” that all services will be delivered.

He said there was a “very troubled history between the church and women’s reproductive health” in Ireland and that people had “the right to examine, to ask questions and to demand guarantees”.

While he also confirmed that no one from the Sisters of Charity will be on the board of the new NMH and the Vatican has “nothing to do with ownership” of the new site.

Minister Donnelly called the discussion about ownership of the lands a “red-neck” and said the hospital’s independence had been guaranteed and a 299-year lease secured.

Minister Donnelly said the government had delayed signing the final agreement for the NMH to be as “transparent” as possible.

Mr Donnelly said he would appear before the Dáil’s Health Committee to answer questions about the project before the deal is signed by Cabinet in two weeks.

He added that the new NMH hospital project is vital as Holles St Hospital has inadequate facilities.

“On Holles Street we currently have women in 14-bed wards. Stations with inadequate toilet and shower facilities. We have women in labor queuing in public corridors to access toilets and showers. We just can’t get over this any longer,” he said.

“We’ve been talking about this hospital for nine years now. It is the largest investment in women’s health care in the history of the state.” Ireland’s new National Maternity Hospital ‘offers 100 per cent legal medical procedures’ – Stephen Donnelly

Fry Electronics Team

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