A majority of people believe there will be religious interference with the proposed new National Maternity Hospital, while an even larger majority are dissatisfied with its property, according to a Sunday Independent/Ireland Thinks poll.
Almost two-thirds of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with the structure and ownership of the new maternity hospital, which the government is building on St There will be religious interference in the medical services provided.
The poll’s findings will worry the government, which was forced last week to delay signing the controversial project after cabinet ministers sought more time to consider the legal documents underpinning the deal.
The contract provides for the state to build a new maternity hospital on land it will lease from SVHG for 299 years at €10 a year. The building will be owned by the state and the company running the maternity hospital will be a subsidiary of SVHG. The Religious Sisters of Charity have transferred their interest in SVHG to another company, St. Vincent’s Holdings CLG, a non-profit organization with charitable status.
Critics of the project claim that a religious ethos will still prevail.
The government intends to finalize the deal on Tuesday week but in the meantime they are heading towards a crucial phase where the structure and operations of the new maternity home will come under scrutiny from the Dáil.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said yesterday that “we shouldn’t lose sight of the price” of a “world-class maternity hospital”.
Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys, who previously raised concerns about the project, said it was important that the hospital go ahead and that the government “is transparent in its decision”.
Health Secretary Stephen Donnelly is due to appear before an Oireachtas health committee on Tuesday. dr Peter Boylan, an outspoken critic of the project, is expected. Prof Deirdre Madden, an HSE board member who refused to sign the legal agreement due to governance and ownership concerns, was invited.
Social Democrat TD Róisín Shortall said the Oireachtas committee could ask the Health Secretary to release Deirdre Madden from her HSE confidentiality obligations.
Fine Gael TD Colm Burke said the “easiest way” to resolve the controversy was for ownership to be transferred to the state.
“I think the property should be transferred through ownership interests where possible – but that may not be possible as it could limit future development on the hospital campus,” he said.
That Sunday independentThe /Ireland Thinks survey asked respondents if they were satisfied with the structure and ownership of the new hospital – 28 percent said yes; 60 pieces said no; and 12pc said ‘don’t know’.
When asked if they believed there would be a religious influence on the new maternity home’s medical services, 45 percent said yes; 40 pieces said no; and 14pc answered “don’t know”.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/two-in-three-people-unhappy-with-new-maternity-hospital-proposals-41627033.html Two out of three people are dissatisfied with new proposals for maternity hospitals