24 November 2016

Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD has welcomed the announcement of a successful resolution of the dispute over governance between the National Maternity Hospital and St Vincent’s University Hospital, and said:

“I welcome the news that a resolution has now been found to preserve the ethos and independence of the National Maternity Hospital through a golden share arrangement.”

“A new maternity hospital has been required to replace Holles St for decades. In Government, the Labour Party ensured capital funding was put in place to develop a new state of the art hospital co-located with St. Vincent’s Hospital at Elm Park.”

“However, we must not forget that the HSE’s clinical lead in obstetrics and gynaecology Professor Michael Turner recently said four new maternity hospitals were needed to address the growing level of risk associated with giving birth in Irish hospitals.”

“This includes Holles Street, but Limerick, the Coombe and the Rotunda also need new state of the art replacement hospitals.

“I am not convinced that there is a strategy in place to deliver these four new hospitals under the National Maternity Strategy.”

“It is vital that these projects do not get long fingered or further delayed due to bureaucracy and inflated costs as we have seen with the National Children’s Hospital.”

“It is a measure of our society how well we treat our mothers and new born children. It is essential that modern facilities are built as soon as is possible.”

“The increase in births in recent years has put huge pressure on stretched facilities. We now need new delivery wards to be built across our country”

“I call on the Minister for Health to progress replacement hospitals as soon as possible and put in place a plan to deliver this capital investment programme”

“Building new maternity hospitals alone will not provide better services and we need increased investment in staff to hire and support midwives and obstetricians. The National Maternity Strategy calls for the number of births per midwives to drop from the current 1:36 to 1:29.5 which will require that over 100 midwives per year to be hired.”

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