Sir, – The Sisters of Charity are handing over ownership of the St Vincent’s Hospital Group to a new company, St Vincent’s. Bearing in mind that St Vincent’s public hospital was built with State money and is continually funded by the State, we are now left with the extraordinary situation where a private company, not under State control, is being gifted with a hospital that cost many millions, and which the State will continue to fund. We need to be told what conditions the State will attach to this continued funding, what oversight the State will have over the new company, and why the hospital couldn’t simply have been handed over to the HSE, where it would conform fully with State policy. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Ownership of the hospital has been transferred from a known group with a known set of values to an unknown group with an unknown set of values. It remains to be seen whether this can be called progress. – Yours, etc,
Canon JAMES MORIARTY,
Sir, – The news that the Religious Sisters of Charity are to relinquish ownership of St Vincent’s University Hospital, St Vincent’s Private and St Michael’s is, undoubtedly, very good news for Simon Harris and will delight the angry cohort who, for a long time, have targeted the involvement of religious orders in Irish life.
While this move by the Sisters is to be welcomed as most appropriate, in the context of how a modern state should serve all its citizens, it is nevertheless tinged with sadness for some. Especially those of us who were assisted into the world by the skilled hands of nuns in the maternity sections of local hospitals and who then went on to get a first-class education from the Christian Brothers.
The past failures and woeful wrongdoing of religious orders must continue to be probed, pursued and publicised, but perhaps in the context of this historic magnanimity, the sterling work over many years and the kindness and commitment of religious orders to Irish society should equally be understood, acknowledged and appreciated. – Yours, etc,
Sir, – Instead of an unaccountable religious organisation, the State will now be gifting the new National Maternity Hospital to an unaccountable private healthcare company.
Perhaps I may controversially ask that we instead gift this publicly funded hospital to the Irish people and retain ownership and control for ourselves and not for the profit of others? – Yours, etc,