25 April 2017

Labour Party spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD has called on Minister for Health to take control of the situation regarding the National Maternity Hospital.

“It is time now for Minister Harris to take control of the situation with the National Maternity Hospital. We are now in a situation where it is getting deeply personal between the board of Holles Street and St Vincent’s Hospital are giving different accounts of what has transpired on the national airwaves.

“Between all of this in-fighting, the only loser in all of this is the women of Ireland and their children.

​”I fully support the remarks of Dr.Peter Boylan, that women’s health has to be at the centre of this debate. He should be allowed to continue to express his views which are an invaluable contribution to this extremely important national conversation. ​

“Simon Harris needs to now accept the calls of the people of Ireland, who are rightly outraged, and publish the deal. ​

“Minister Harris has many issues to address. Did he know about the letter from Tom Lynch, CEO of the East Hospitals Group? Mr.Lynch warned Minister Harris that the situation we were in now was going to transpire. Why didn’t Minister Harris take heed of this warning? Did his officials even show Minister Harris the letter in question?​

“Why did Minister Harris need to get the HSE to write to St Vincents’ to state that the National Maternity Hospital would be independent in every way post the deal once this controversy emerged? If the deal was good enough in the first place why was this needed?

“The signals we were getting from the religious orders over the weekend are deeply troubling and need to be tackled head on. ​​ ​We know that the Sisters of Charity owe millions to the State in redress funds, it is now imperative for them to step up and gift the land to the State.​

“As a member of the Oireachtas Committees on Health and Public Accounts I have asked the Chairs​ of the committees​ to urgently ​call the Minister to the committees to address the issues I have raised.

“The National Maternity Hospital must be owned by the State nothing else will do. This deal as currently constructed is not going to work.”

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