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First phase of NMH goes ahead

Health Minister, Simon Harris TD, has approved the contract for the first phase of the National Maternity Hospital – which will consist of the pharmacy/car park contract – to proceed on the St Vincent’s University Hospital Campus.

Making the announcement, the Department of Health said St Vincent’s Healthcare Group had confirmed the process by which the Religious Sisters of Charity would transfer their shareholding and withdraw from the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group. T

The Minister warmly acknowledged the valuable work of the Sisters in the provision of health services at St Vincent’s down through the years.

He also welcomed the agreement reached to include a Public Interest representative on the Board of the new NMH DAC. Assurances that the Board would be competency based, and that a review of current NMH governance would be undertaken to bring it in line with modern standards, had also been received, he said.

The Department said the agreement in principle of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group to provide the State with a 99 year lease of the land upon which the new maternity hospital would be built would allow the State to retain ownership of the new facility, to be operated by the National Maternity Hospital DAC.

A suite of legal documents had been prepared to give effect to this agreement and would be finalised in conjunction with both the NMH and St Vincent’s Healthcare Group.

“The documents fulfill two important functions; firstly, they will protect the State’s significant financial investment in the new hospital, and secondly, they further confirm that the NMH will retain its clinical and operational independence.”

The Minister said that the overall legal framework would, “unequivocally, copper-fasten the principle that patient care in the new hospital will be delivered without religious, ethnic or other distinction, and that any relevant medical procedure, which is in accordance with the laws of the land, will be carried out at the new hospital.”