Thursday, 12 May 2022
National Maternity Hospital: Statements
That is my point. It is all very complicated. We are writing a cheque, or the HSE will write the cheque on our behalf, as taxpayers, for up to €1 billion. This is why I am concerned. It is the reason we are in the position we are in. The Minister himself used the words “complex” and “complexities”. We are establishing this company, which is a charity, yes, but it is still a company, the National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park DAC. That will have directors coming from three different sources - from the State, from the St. Vincent's Healthcare Group and from the existing National Maternity Hospital. That company is a subsidiary of St. Vincent's Healthcare Group, which will own the land and will be the landlord. There is the lease arrangement between St. Vincent's Healthcare Group and the HSE. St. Vincent's Healthcare Group has its own constitution and its own board. That, in itself, is a subsidiary of St. Vincent's Holdings CLG, which has its own constitution and its own board. We then have a licence, a lease and all of these constitutions. This ambiguity is being raised, not by me, but by some who are legal experts. All of that would be absolutely avoided if we had a public hospital on public land in public ownership. For the life of me, I do not understand today why we are not getting that.