Minister says state ownership of NMH site is preferred


The health minister said the government strongly prefers the state to own full ownership of the Dublin site, which has been assigned to a new national maternity hospital.

The facility is expected to be built on land that will be owned by an independent charity, St Vincent’s Holdings, and leased to the state under a 99-year lease.

The Order of Religious Sisters of Charity owns the land and has declared that it is offering it to the Irish people.

The order also states that she was “never at any time” contacted by the government or the state to discuss the purchase of the site.

St Vincent’s Healthcare Group also denied being approached to sell the land.

Minister Stephen Donnelly said that the current negotiations are continuing in “good faith” and that he plans to discuss this point of view with the hospital group of the Sisters of Charity and Saint Vincent.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, the minister said “a revolution in women’s health care is needed in Ireland” and said Ireland needs “a modern motherhood and we need it quickly “.

He said the new NMH must have full clinical independence, a full range of services for women and must also protect the state’s investment.

Mr Donnelly said that even though the full independence of the motherhood is contractually guaranteed and is “bulletproof”, he would still prefer the site to be state-owned.

“My belief is that the state must own the site and if anything can be done to that end, we will.”

He said he would not recommend the hospital to the government without absolute certainty about its clinical and operational independence.

The minister said the ownership of the site allows for a change in the governance structure and said the Sisters of Charity are ready to transfer all of their shareholding to the holding company and are ready to step down from the management of the site. health care.

He said: “We have to build it, women, mothers and babies need it.”

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said full public ownership of the site was “a critical issue” and called on the government to take an immediate approach to secure the outcome.

Speaking on the same program, she said the state needs to safeguard the € 800 million investment in the hospital and that it should ideally be co-located near an acute care hospital.

She said moving to another location would be a last resort, but that will be determined by who owns the site at the moment.

MP Murphy said a mandatory purchase option is another option that could be considered, but it is “not ideal” and would add to delays in the construction of the facility.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that ideally the state would own the hospital and the land given the money the taxpayer invests in the facility.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar also said that if St Vincent or the Religious Sisters of Charity were willing to sell the land, the state would be willing to buy it.

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