28 September 2016

Labour Party Senator and spokesperson on Dublin, Kevin Humphreys, has again called for construction to begin on the new National Maternity Hospital as a matter of urgency.

Plans for the new facility have been delayed in a dispute over who should have governance control at the proposed site on the campus of St Vincent’s Hospital.

In the Seanad today, Senator Humphreys expressed his frustration that there had been no movement on the matter since he last raised it in during the summer.

“The Minister appointed a mediator after I raised this matter last June. It is unacceptable that women and children are being put at risk over what are mainly men in grey suits on boards arguing over who will be in control of what budgets.

I understand it is a voluntary hospital and when the Minister for Health, Deputy Simon Harris, was in the House in June, he said he did not have a plan B. That is not an excuse. The mediator has been working since June but we have heard no result.

The Health Information and Quality Authority, HIQA, has presented a damning report on Holles Street hospital – not on the staff but on the conditions, including overcrowding.  

There are ten delivery wards for nearly 10,000 births when one should have at least 24 delivery wards. What is planned for the new hospital is 24 delivery wards for a demand of 10,000 births. Only down the road, Holles Street is struggling with ten delivery wards for 9,000 births.

It is no longer acceptable that we should have a turf war between two hospitals that is affecting the health of and good outcomes for our children, and for women who go into that hospital to deliver babies.”

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