Clinicians concerned over 'misinformation' surrounding National Maternity Hospital relocation

ireland
Clinicians Concerned Over 'Misinformation' Surrounding National Maternity Hospital Relocation
A model showing the proposed National Maternity Hospital at the new site on the St Vincent's Hospital campus at Elm Park.
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Over 40 clinicians at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) have raised concerns about "misinformation" and "misunderstanding" surrounding its planned relocation to a site on the St Vincent's hospital campus at Elm Park.

In a letter to The Irish Times, 42 consultants looked to clarify that all procedures will be available if the move from the current Holles Street location goes ahead, including terminations and tubal ligation and transgender and assisted reproduction services.

Issues surrounding the ownership of the land on which the new hospital would be built led to concerns regarding the hospital's clinical independence.

The site is owned by religious order, the Sisters of Charity, prompting Tánaiste Leo Varakdar say a new site may need to be found if the ownership of the land called the governance of the hospital into question.

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Protests were also held over the weekend, with demonstrators demanding that the hospital be Stated-owned.

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In the letter, the consultants said they feared misinformation could delay the "vital project", adding: "The misinformation that services at the new maternity hospital will be curtailed by any religious ethos is particularly troubling given its inaccuracy."

The State has requested to buy the land, however St Vincent's Healthcare Group (SVHG) said they must retain ownership, proposing a 99-year lease and a 50-year extension instead.

The clinicians said they could not support any restriction on their practice based on religion. "A cast-iron guarantee in this regard is included the proposed operating licence to be granted by the Department of Health for the new hospital, and we would not allow the project to proceed without this in place," the letter stated.

Speaking over the weekend, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said discussions will be held with the boards of the NMH and SVHG.

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