April 20, 2017, 8:48 a.m.
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national maternity hospital sisters simon harris charity the former master


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THE FORMER MASTER of the National Maternity Hospital has said that it is “just not on” that the Sisters of Charity are to be the owners of the new facility.The National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street in Dublin is moving to a new €300 million facility on the grounds of St Vincent’s Hospital.The site is owned by religious order the Sisters of Charity and the proposed deal will see the order owning the facility.A petition opposing plan has now topped 50,000 signatures with many pointing out that the order owes money to a redress scheme set up for the survivors of religious abuse.Speaking today on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, former Holles St. master Dr. Peter Boylan said his concerns were based on whether the religious beliefs of the Sisters of Charity would affect medical care at the hospital.Boylan was responding to a comment from St. Vincent’s University board member Sister Agnes Reynolds to the Irish Times. Reynolds said she “can’t make a judgement” on the precise medical care to be provided at the hospital.“When she’s asked about whether or not the congregation would influence medical care provided, she said that she can’t make a judgement on that,” Boylan said.The Department of Health has promised that the current ethos of the National Maternity Hospital will not be affected by the new deal and says that it will operate ‘without religious distinction’.“The identity and ethos of the current NMH will be retained,” the department said in a statement.Boylan, however, said that this is not how religious hospitals operate elsewhere in Ireland or the rest of the world.“That would make the new hospital unique in the world in that it would be the only hospital in the world owned by the Catholic Church and effectively run by a company that is owned by the Catholic Church to allow things like IVF, sterilisation, abortion, gender reassignment surgery etc, etc,” Boylan said.Health Minister Simon Harris has said that the State is to hold a golden share in the ownership structure of the hospital, something he says ensures clinical decisions are free from a religious veto.Independence of the maternity hospital will be copperfastened by reserved powers and golden share held by Minister for Health of day. 2/2— Simon Harris TD (@SimonHarrisTD) April 18, 2017
Source: Simon Harris TD/TwitterIndependence of the maternity hospital will be copperfastened by reserved powers and golden share held by Minister for Health of day. 2/2In addressing the minister, Boylan says Harris needs to ask the Sisters of Charity directly if they will stand in the way of certain medical procedures:Boylan added that the current management of Holles Street were left with “little choice” but to go along with the proposal but that he feels it is wrong.“I think that, unfortunately, Holles Street were left with little chance, they need a new hospital, the women of Ireland need a new hospital. It’s a wonderful design but the structure is just wrong. It’s just unacceptable for this State, our money to be given to the Sisters of Charity to build a hospital, worth €300 million. It’s just not on,” he said.

http://www.thejournal.ie/maternity-hospital-boylan-3348572-Apr2017/