It’s hoped the new National Maternity Hospital in Dublin can be built as soon as possible after it was confirmed the land earmarked for the project is to be gifted to the state.
The Vatican has allowed the Religious Sisters of Charity to transfer its ownership of St Vincent’s Healthcare Group, which is hoped can be concluded without delay.
The Sisters intend to gift lands at the St Vincent’s Healthcare Group sites, including those at Elm Park, to the state.
Health Minister Simon Harris believes this will remove any concerns that a religious influence might be held over the new National Maternity Hospital.
In what he described as ‘an extraordinary contribution’ to gift lands conservatively valued at €200m for the benefit of the Irish public, the Minister thanked the Sisters for their tireless work down through the years to provide healthcare to those in need.
Speaking today, the Minister said:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Sisters for the very important role they have played in the provision of healthcare services to the people of Ireland over many years.
“Since St Vincent’s Hospital first opened on St Stephen’s Green in 1835 with 12 patients, the Sisters have overseen the care of many millions of people. St Vincent’s University Hospital on Elm Park is now an academic teaching hospital of international renown and stands testament to the Sisters.
“Today’s announcement by the Sisters will remove any remaining concerns that a religious influence might be brought to bear on the governance of the new National Maternity Hospital at Elm Park.
“The announcement will also pave the way for the finalisation of the legal framework which will protect the State’s investment in the new hospital and ensure that the new National Maternity Hospital will have clinical and operational, as well as financial and budgetary independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services.”
Statement from St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group
The Board of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group would like to express sincere thanks to the Religious Sisters of Charity following the announcement regarding the transfer of ownership of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group and for their exceptionally generous legacy to the Irish people.
As indicated in their statement the ownership of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group will be transferred to a new entity called St. Vincent’s Holdings CLG which will continue to be a “not for profit” organisation. In the event of the new St. Vincent’s Holdings CLG going into liquidation, its surplus assets will be vested with the Charity Regulator and used for future healthcare purposes to benefit the people of Ireland.
In May 2017, the Religious Sisters of Charity announced their departure from St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group and its Board. Today, marks a final step towards completion of all legal, financial and regulatory matters involved in the transfer of the Sisters’ 186-year involvement in the hospital.
The Chair of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group, Mr. James Menton, said: “This is a significant milestone and another indication of the Religious Sisters of Charity wonderful legacy to Irish healthcare. The Sisters have always held the highest ambitions for the provision of world class healthcare services in Ireland and have successfully achieved and sustained this. They have always seen the need for the proposed development of the new National Maternity Hospital integrated within the Elm Park campus and this announcement should ensure this vital facility for mothers and babies is developed as quickly as possible.
“The Board, management and 4,000 staff of St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group are also absolutely committed to upholding the vision and values of Mary Aikenhead – namely human dignity, compassion, justice, quality and advocacy -which result in the best possible outcomes for our patients and their families”, he added.