Bacik calls for debate on maternity healthcare in light of ongoing issues with new maternity hospital
Labour Senator Ivana Bacik has called for a debate on maternity healthcare and on women’s health in general in light of the continuing issues with the new National Maternity Hospital, to ensure that governance of the hospital will not be influenced by any religious doctrinal ethos. In light of the huge public concern, Senator Bacik said the Oireachtas must debate the matter to ensure women have access to fit-for-purpose maternity and reproductive care.
Senator Bacik said:
“Unless this hospital is built on State-owned land, concerns remain that a Catholic religious ethos will hold influence over the healthcare that the hospital will offer to women. The new maternity hospital should have a secular charter, unfettered by any religious doctrine. I remain concerned the governance arrangements currently proposed will still allow for the influence of Catholic ethos on the type of care provided to patients.
“Labour has been staunchly opposed to the involvement of a religious order in the running of the new National Maternity Hospital since news of the proposal first emerged, and we have long argued that a hospital built and paid for by the State must remain in public ownership. Last week, my colleague, Labour leader and health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD, raised this matter in the Dáil, citing experts like Dr Peter Boylan who have consistently raised issues concerning the proposed governance arrangements.
“It is wholly inappropriate that the Catholic Church would retain any influence over decisions relating to women and our healthcare. We need to ensure that Ireland is a truly secular and pluralist society, a true republic in which the church and State are separated.
“Last month marked three years since the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. As we mark that anniversary, I am calling on Government to think critically about the decisions being made on governance of the new National Maternity Hospital and to review the proposed arrangements to ensure women have full access to all reproductive healthcare options.”