Legal framework for new National Maternity Hospital approved

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The legal framework that will underpin the ownership and governance arrangements for the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) at the St Vincent’s University Hospital campus at Elm Park, Dublin, has been approved by the Government, the HSE Board and the Boards of the NMH and St Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG).

The Department of Health said the legal framework addressed both the ownership and governance of the new hospital. It would ensure that all legally permissible services would be available in the new NMH, prevent any influence, religious or otherwise, on the operation of the new hospital and safeguard the State’s significant investment in the hospital.

Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly said, “There were concerns that access to essential healthcare services could potentially be restricted due to the religious beliefs or ethical code of the hospitals concerned. I am absolutely satisfied that this legal framework ensures this will not be the case and that all lawfully permissible services will be provided in the new NMH, as they are in the current NMH.”

The Religious Sisters of Charity have transferred their shareholding in the company that owns the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group and the land for the proposed new National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park. to St Vincent’s Holdings CLG, a not-for-profit company with charitable status which is governed by Irish company law.

The St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group owns St Vincent’s University Hospital and St Vincent’s Private Hospital at Elm Park and St Michael’s Hospital, in Dún Laoghaire.