Its one month later Minister Harris – NMH Move


7am Monday 29th May 2017

Maternity Service users call time on National Maternity Hospital talks, demand answers from Minister Harris and Religious Sisters of Charity.

Dublin: Aims Ireland, the association representing Ireland’s maternity service users, would like Minister for Health to now clarify the position on the proposed new National Maternity Hospital. On April 28th, amid outrage from our members and supporters, AIMS Ireland held a press briefing asking for clarity from the Minister and from the Religious Sisters of Charity on exactly what was agreed for the new and much needed maternity hospital.
Minister Harris responded by asking the people of Ireland to provide him ‘with the time to further engage with both hospitals’. He asked for a month. That month has now passed and the maternity service users in Ireland would like to know if the hospital they will pay for is to be owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity or not.

On April 28th AIMS Ireland posed the following questions to the Religious Sisters of Charity:

  • If the Eighth Amendment is repealed and abortion legalised, will this be carried out on the site?
  • If a woman wishes to have a medical sterilisation through choice, can that procedure be carried out under the agreement between the NMH and St Vincent’s?
  • Will IVF and other advanced medical fertilization therapies take place on the site under the current agreement?
  • If a woman is undergoing cancer treatment and needs contraceptive medication and/or procedures at the hospital, what is the position then?
  • What will and will not be vetoed at this hospital?

AIMSI pointed out that until Minister for Health Simon Harris has the answers, from the owners of the hospitals themselves, he cannot be expected to put a cent of public money towards funding it.

“Minister Harris asked for a month to hold talks with each hospital. That month is now up and we and the maternity service users of Ireland demand to know the outcome of these talks” said AIMSI Chair Krysia Lynch. “We trust all the excitement in the Fine Gael party at the moment hasn’t overshadowed this crucial issue and we remind the minister that in spite of all the disagreement regarding the plans for this hospital, not one of the stakeholders would deny that there is a dire need for this facility. Just not at any cost.”

“We would also, a month on from our initial request, still like a response from the Religious Sisters of Charity to our questions. If they are to own this hospital, they must clarify exactly what their ethos determines they are duty-bound to veto” added the AIMS Ireland Chair.

AIMS Ireland again reiterates its position that the National Maternity Hospital must be completely independent, secular and must follow an ethos of best-practice, evidence-based care. The women and children of Ireland deserve nothing less and will accept nothing less.


April 18th 2017: Controversy heightens over religious ownership of new NMH at Elm Park/St Vincent’s site

April 18th: Negotiator and ‘broker’ of the SVHG/NMH deal, Kieran Mulvey, confirms €3 million in unpaid redress was not a factor in the talks which led to the hospital being owned by the Religious Sisters of Charity

April 19th: Holles St Master claims ‘no religious interference’

April 19th: 70,000 Sign online petition against religious ownership of the NMH

April 19th: Simon Harris moves to reassure, claiming no religious interference thanks to ‘triple lock’ protection

April 20th: St Vincent’s Healthcare Group announce they are to ‘review’ hospital plans on foot of controversy
April 25th: NMH board asks Dr Peter Boylan to resign over his criticism of the plans

April 27th: Dr Peter Boylan resigns from NMH board

April 28th: AIMS Ireland holds press conference demanding clarification from the Religious Sister of Charity

April 28th: Relocation Planner Dr Chris Fitzpatrick speaks out against the plans and resigns.

April 30th: Minister Harris statement on NMH states: “This week, I asked for a period of time to allow me and my officials to work with both hospitals and report back to the Government, the Oireachtas and to the public at the end of May.”

1st May: Uplift petition reaches 100,000 signatures against Religious ownership of the NMH

7th May: Thousands protest against the religious ownership of the hospital.

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