The National Maternity Hospital

 

Sir, – Dr Rhona Mahony and Dr Shane Higgins are satisfied that the proposed new National Maternity Hospital will have “clinical and operational independence” (Letters, December 4th).

However, there is still no clarity about the ownership of the new hospital and its board membership. While technically the Sisters of Charity are not involved they do control St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, which owns the land on which the new maternity hospital will be built.

We were told last year by Minister for Health Simon Harris that either a freehold title or a long lease of at least 999 years would be forthcoming but as yet there is no clarity on this project into which at least €300 million of taxpayers’ money is being invested.

The composition of the new board to govern the new hospital and who and what body will have a majority vote in the case of a controversy arising is equally unclear.

While doctors and indeed every Irish person are anxious for the immediate construction of this long-awaited maternity hospital, until there is absolute clarity on the overall control and ownership of it, there should not be any attempt at its construction. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN BUTLER,

Malahide,

Co Dublin.