Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Questions (486, 502, 519)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

486. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if the land earmarked for the development of the new national maternity hospital will be owned by the State or by a charitable organisation and leased by the State (details supplied); if it is leased, the terms and duration of the lease; the implications of the potential expiry of such a lease in respect of value for money in capital expenditure and security of national infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7136/20]

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Gary Gannon

Question:

502. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Health the procurement process for land earmarked for the new national maternity hospital; if an organisation (details supplied) has transferred the land to the State or to a charitable organisation; if the process will result in the State having full ownership of the land or leasehold; if it is leased, the terms and duration of such lease; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8223/20]

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Bríd Smith

Question:

519. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Health his views on the recent transfer of land earmarked for the development of the new national maternity hospital by an organisation (details supplied); if the land will be owned by the State or owned by an organisation and leased by the State; if it is leased, the terms and duration of the lease; and if the organisation will have a mandate or influence in respect of the ethos of the hospital. [7140/20]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 486, 502 and 519 together.

I welcome the announcement by the Religious Sisters of Charity that the Vatican has approved the transfer of the Sister's shareholding in St Vincent's Healthcare Group (SVHG) to a new company, St Vincent’s Holdings CLG. This development will remove any remaining concerns that religious influence might be brought to bear on the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH). It also paves 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 NMH will have clinical and operational, as well as financial and budgetary independence in the provision of maternity, gynaecology and neonatal services.

The governance arrangements for the new NMH will be based on the provisions of the Mulvey Agreement. The Mulvey Agreement was an agreement between the NMH and the SVHG which was finalised in November 2016, following extensive mediation discussions. This Agreement provides for the establishment of a new company - NMH at Elm Park DAC - and ensures that a full range of health services will be available at the new hospital without religious, ethnic or other distinction.

My Department continues to engage with the SVHG, the NMH, the HSE and the Chief State Solicitor's Office in relation to the legal framework. The new hospital, which will remain in State ownership, will be built on a site leased from the SVHG for a period of 99 years. The State will provide an Operating Licence to the NMH at Elm Park DAC and the SVHG to facilitate the provision of health services in the new building.