Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the HSE’s operating license for the new National Maternity Hospital and other documents give “cast-iron guarantees” that all legally permitted services “would be available to women in the new hospital”.
Amid the ongoing controversy, Mr Martin said the establishment of the new facility on the grounds of St Vincent’s Hospital was an opportunity to create a neonatal “centre of excellence for newborns”.
In a video posted online, he said: “I would like to take this opportunity to explain the background to the decision to house the new National Maternity Hospital on the grounds of St. Vincent’s Hospital.”
“For over 20 years and more, medical experts have been recommending the merger of maternity hospitals with large tertiary hospitals like St. Vincent’s to improve outcomes for women, and particularly women with complications during pregnancy.
“This is an opportunity to build a modern 21st century hospital and neonatal center of excellence for newborns and especially preterm babies.”
Concerns have been raised that St Vincent’s Catholic ethos could result in women being denied treatments such as sterilisation, IVF and abortions, as the land on which the new hospital is to be built is being leased to the state rather than within it Property transfer and gender affirmation in new hospital.
Mr Martin said midwives and doctors working at the National Maternity Hospital were “very clear” that all services would be provided as they are at Holles Street at the moment.
“Concerns have been raised about whether all legally permitted services are being provided,” he said.
“The constitution of the new hospital, the HSE’s operating license for the new hospital and other documents provide ironclad guarantees that all legally permitted services for women will be available in the new hospital.
“And in particular the head midwives and the clinicians and doctors who work at the National Maternity Hospital really want this new hospital and are very clear that all services will be provided as they are at Holles Street at the moment.
“So this is an opportunity to move forward with this project as it was first discussed in 2013. There was a lot of negotiation between all parties.”
He said there was an “urgent need” to move forward with a modern 21st century hospital for Ireland’s women.
“It is now 2022 and construction will take some time. There is therefore an urgent need to move from the very poor physical conditions of current Holles Street to a modern 21st century center of excellence for Ireland’s women and newborns into the future,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/taoiseach-explains-decision-to-go-ahead-with-national-maternity-hospital-despite-ownership-concerns-41639188.html Taoiseach explains the decision to continue operating the National Maternity Hospital despite ownership issues