Thursday, 12 May 2022
National Maternity Hospital: Statements
I understand that the Minister did but I would be interested to see if previous Ministers did and if the advice that those Ministers received differed in any way from the advice he received, which is an important point.
In his response to Deputy Bacik today, the Tánaiste said very plainly, very clearly and in a determined manner that he expects this decision to go through Cabinet next week. He just plainly set it out straight. Our sense that anything is going to change, be subject to change or have the scope for change diminishes almost by the hour and, for me anyway, it diminished further when the Tánaiste said that.
I want to ask the Minister about the role of the St. Vincent's Healthcare Group. It became clear over the course of recent months, particularly over the course of engagement in the last couple of weeks, that the level of clinical engagement between Holles Street and St. Vincent's Hospital is very strong, with the same clinicians working in both hospitals - I know there are clinical reasons for this and all the rest. As part of a process, it meant that this was not so much a selection of a site based on separate and different criteria, but it was more like an arranged marriage and they were so interlinked at this stage that a decision had to be made and there was no other choice. That has been made clear through the various committees and the various engagements that have taken place.
Would the Minister accept that this is not a great starting point when selecting a site for any new piece of State hospital infrastructure?