National Maternity Hospital

Purple

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The current discussion is mainly ideological. The people doing the actual running are happy with it.
If the people doing the actual running are the same people who are currently aligned to the ideology of the SVHG then of course they would be.
No, it doesn't. In Ireland, Irish law supercedes anything the Vatican might think. Any decisions made by Catholic (or Protestant, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Mormon, Muslim or atheist) institutions must be in accord with Irish law as interpreted by the Irish Courts.
Laws and contract mean what the courts say they mean. The Vatican has to give approval for the lease and the Vatican is absolutely against many of the services which we are being told will be provided by the SVHG. How come they are agreeing to the provision of such services?
Swallows and summers. Anyway, knowledge of.the law is not a guarantee of keeping you out of legal actions! Nothing can guarantee that.
Okay, so they don't know the law or contracts etc... how would they, they are not lawyers.
Three out of how many? And a golden share for the Minister? Hardly nun-controlled, is it? Compared to the current NMH setup, that appears to be a significant improvement.
You know all about it and have satisfied yourself that it's all watertight, you tell me. It's also in the article you read.

In that case, I happen to own a bridge at the end of O'Connell Street that's currently available - just to you - for a very attractive price!
What's that got to do with the provision of medical services?
 

Baby boomer

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Are medics best placed to advise on matters of governance....
If the governance in question is whether or not they are permitted to carry out the medical procedures they and their patients think appropriate and medically indicated, then the answer is a resounding "YES", otherwise probably no, although their perspective should not be discounted entirely.


and value for taxpayer money?
"NO" but that's not the issue. Nobody has suggested that the new NMH is poor value for money. It's all about clinical independence, which the actual clinicians seem quite happy about, and freehold vs peppercorn rent, between which nobody can adequately explain much significant difference.
Would you have a doctor do the legal work on a house purchase?
Very expensive lawyers have done the legal work, as tends to happen when property worth €100 million changes hands. The doctors appear happy with the lawyers work. As a lawyer might appear happy with a surgeon's work. Doesn't mean he wants to operate on himself!
 

Purple

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If the governance in question is whether or not they are permitted to carry out the medical procedures they and their patients think appropriate and medically indicated, then the answer is a resounding "YES",
That has yet to be clarified to the satisfaction of the Dail's Health Committee, many opposition politicians and the Doctors who have resigned from their posts in protest at the proposed arrangement. You should share your insights with them to assuage their doubts.

otherwise probably no, although their perspective should not be discounted entirely.



"NO" but that's not the issue. Nobody has suggested that the new NMH is poor value for money. It's all about clinical independence, which the actual clinicians seem quite happy about, and freehold vs peppercorn rent, between which nobody can adequately explain much significant difference.

Very expensive lawyers have done the legal work, as tends to happen when property worth €100 million changes hands. The doctors appear happy with the lawyers work. As a lawyer might appear happy with a surgeon's work. Doesn't mean he wants to operate on himself!
 

Baby boomer

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That has yet to be clarified to the satisfaction of the Dail's Health Committee.....
A bunch of virtue signalling opportunists who can smell the way the winds of public opinion are blowing, and would prefer to follow it rather than supply leadership.

....many opposition politicians....
And which of those fine chaps and lasses would you trust with the nation's affairs, the Shinners perhaps, inclusive of their anti-vax headbanging wing? Or the far left Putin apologists in PBP, maybe? Mattie and the Healy-Raes? The turf man? Or that nice lady on the bike who runs Labour and thinks everything can be fixed if only the Government spent more taxpayers money? Quite the motley crew, our opposition politicians, eh?

...and the Doctors who have resigned from their posts in protest at the proposed arrangement.
Now that would worry me. I'm not actually aware of any doctors who've jacked in their jobs though. But if there are, that would be serious and their views would merit serious consideration.

You should share your insights with them to assuage their doubts.
The majority of their colleagues - immeasurably better qualified and placed than me - seem perfectly happy with the proposals. I'm sure those insights are shared within the medical world.
 

michaelm

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The running and control of the new entity has been dealt with (Minister's golden share, board composition, etc, etc) to the complete satisfaction of the actual medics who will be working there. Why hurlers on the ditch feel obliged to second guess their judgement is somewhat beyond me. Unless the reasons are ideological rather than practical.
Methinks the reasons being ideological rather than practical may hit the nail on the head. It's perfect being the enemy of the good territory.
 

Sunny

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All I know is that successive Governments have promised and failed to deliver a National Maternity Hospital and a Childrens hospital. We started building the National Childrens hospital at St James despite numerous warnings and we are now looking at a bill North of €2 billion to build the most expensive hospital in the world. I know some very good people who worked on that project over the years and left/sacked because of political interference. Anyone who raised objections at the time were told 'Do you want it built or not'?

We are seeing the same thing happen here. There seems to be enough medical people (never mind ordinary people) raising concerns and they are being pretty much told to shut up. I won't even pretend to understand the legalities of what is being proposed but I struggle to see why St Vincents seems to be the only option. Being in the same catchment area of Holles Street hardly seems a reason. I understand co-location but you could achieve that at somewhere like Tallaght.
 

Sunny

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Methinks the reasons being ideological rather than practical may hit the nail on the head. It's perfect being the enemy of the good territory.

Except medical people are not lawyers. What seems genuine concerns have been raised about the power that this golden share and the power of the Board of Directors actually have because of the use of the phrase 'Clinically Appropriate'. Refusing to carry about a procedure under the Clinical Appropriate defence makes the Ministers Golden Share next to useless.

I have no idea who is right or wrong in this. Probably both sides of the argument. All I know is that we seem to make every large project in the Country as complicated and as political as we can. And it is the taxpayers and the users of the services that pay the price.
 

Purple

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A bunch of virtue signalling opportunists who can smell the way the winds of public opinion are blowing, and would prefer to follow it rather than supply leadership.
That’s meaningless hot air. You haven’t addressed any of the issues.
And which of those fine chaps and lasses would you trust with the nation's affairs, the Shinners perhaps, inclusive of their anti-vax headbanging wing? Or the far left Putin apologists in PBP, maybe? Mattie and the Healy-Raes? The turf man? Or that nice lady on the bike who runs Labour and thinks everything can be fixed if only the Government spent more taxpayers money? Quite the motley crew, our opposition politicians, eh?
Same there.
You’re well aware of my views on socialist politics and the child killer apologists in SF.
Now that would worry me. I'm not actually aware of any doctors who've jacked in their jobs though. But if there are, that would be serious and their views would merit serious consideration.
Okay, take a look at the doctors and others who have resigned from the boards of the hospitals concerned in protest at the current proposal.
The majority of their colleagues - immeasurably better qualified and placed than me - seem perfectly happy with the proposals. I'm sure those insights are shared within the medical world.
You’re still confusing doctors with lawyers.
 

Baby boomer

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Excellent letter in the Irish Times today from people who actually know what they're talking about first hand. It refutes the straw-clinging "clinically appropriate" argument; it confirms that a full range of services including abortion are and will continue to be provided at both NMH and St. Vincent's. Time for the hurlers on the ditch to re-evaluate, perhaps?

Sir, -We represent the large majority of trainees in obstetrics and gynaecology in Ireland and are deeply concerned about recent political actions which are serving to delay the development of the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH), co-located on the St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) site.

At the NMH and SVUH, there is no impediment to abortion care, contraceptive use, sterilisation procedures or fertility assessments, irrespective of clinicians’, midwives’ and ancillary staff’s private views.

We know this first-hand because we work on the ground in both of these institutions.

We are very satisfied that the present, excellent provision of abortion care will continue at the newly built NMH and believe strongly that the current political furore with regard to governance and clinical freedoms to be just that: a political football.

The wording of “clinically appropriate” procedures in the legal framework is being openly debated in the media and political circles.

Let it be absolutely clear, this phrasing is not and will not be an impediment to the services provided to women at the NMH. This term serves to protect the provision of those “clinically appropriate” services in a maternity hospital.

This will avoid the replication of what we witness daily in the general hospital settings where women’s health procedures are often cancelled to prioritise other specialities.

Simply put, St Vincent’s University Hospital patients will not be transferred into the maternity hospital to facilitate hip replacements, bowel surgeries, etc, due to bed or staff shortages in our neighbouring hospital.

The omission of an exhaustive list of “clinically appropriate” services that may or may not be provided also future-proofs the hospital and enables it to deliver any newly discovered medications, surgical techniques or imaging methods without requiring a lengthy amendment to the legal framework.

We want to work in a fit-for-purpose, co-located hospital, where we can provide the highest level of care for obstetric and gynaecology patients. Currently, only one of Ireland’s four tertiary maternity units is co-located with an adult hospital in keeping with international best practice. We believe the clinicians working at the NMH and we support them wholeheartedly in their endeavour to realise this new iteration of the NMH. We know that the care provided will be unconstrained by any religious beliefs. – Yours, etc,

Dr CATHY MONTEITH,

Dr CIARA NOLAN,

Dr MEI YEE NG,

Dr OLADAYO ODUOLA,

Dr EIBHLÍN HEALY,

Dr GILLIAN CORBETT,

Dr NAUREEN YASIR,

Dr MAEVE WHITE,

Dr LUCY BOLGER,

Dr AMY WORRALL,

Dr ALICE O’NEILL,

Dr ELZAHRA IBRAHIM,

Dr DIVYA GAUTAM,

Dr FIONA O’TOOLE,

Dr KATE SEXTON,

Dr LUCY BOLGER,

Dr RACHEL O’KEEFE,

Dr RÓISÍN GRYSON,

Dr SARAH MURPHY,

Junior Obstetrics

and Gynaecology Society,

Dublin 2.
 

Sunny

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Even the master of the national maternity hospital understands the concerns raised about the phrase and would support clarification or removal. Is that view straw clinging?

This has nothing to do with medical professionals. Nobody is doubting their intentions or what they are think the future will look like? This is an extremely complicated legal transaction that the State is entering into. Scrutinising it the very least that we can do. Enough concerns have been raised outside political circles that this can't be a case of being told shut up if you want it built.

Why even have the phrase there? It is completely vague. It doesn't even say who it is that decides what is clinically appropriate. If an individual doctor decides that a service is not clinically appropriate, no one and not even the Minister with his golden share can override him. Where does that leave women looking for services? You might not agree but people have no right to dismiss their concerns.

The letter above mentions specifically defining a list of treatments but that is not what people are looking for. They are simply looking for the legal language to be tightened. Its not a medical issue. Its a legal issue and doctors are not contract lawyers. Hardly a big ask but there does seem to some sort of illogical pushback against even that.
 

Purple

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Even the master of the national maternity hospital understands the concerns raised about the phrase and would support clarification or removal. Is that view straw clinging?

This has nothing to do with medical professionals. Nobody is doubting their intentions or what they are think the future will look like? This is an extremely complicated legal transaction that the State is entering into. Scrutinising it the very least that we can do. Enough concerns have been raised outside political circles that this can't be a case of being told shut up if you want it built.

Why even have the phrase there? It is completely vague. It doesn't even say who it is that decides what is clinically appropriate. If an individual doctor decides that a service is not clinically appropriate, no one and not even the Minister with his golden share can override him. Where does that leave women looking for services? You might not agree but people have no right to dismiss their concerns.

The letter above mentions specifically defining a list of treatments but that is not what people are looking for. They are simply looking for the legal language to be tightened. Its not a medical issue. Its a legal issue and doctors are not contract lawyers. Hardly a big ask but there does seem to some sort of illogical pushback against even that.
My concern is that the new company that is to run the Hospital is ethically aligned to the Sisters of Charity so saying that "The Nuns have gone" is true in fact but not true in substance. The fact that an organisation which is utterly opposed to some of the procedures that are to be carried out in the new hospital has given its blessing to the building of that new hospital is paradoxical to say the least. I think that it is worth shining a light on that before we proceed to effectively give a billion euro hospital to a private organisation.
I would question the motives of other Voluntary Hospitals supporting the new hospital. They are private not for profit companies receiving vast amounts of State funds to run privately owned hospitals. A publicly owned National Maternity Hospital sets a dangerous precedent for them.

In general I like the idea of our elected representatives making decisions about how the country is run so I don't like Social Partnership or anything that places vested interest groups between the people and their government. In the same way I like the idea that public hospitals should be publicly owned and run. I don't want any Trusts or Private Companies having any say in how they are run.

The current system is a legacy of a dark time in the history of our country when the Catholic Church dominated so much of the State. It's time to shine a light on this shadow of the past.
 

Baby boomer

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Seeing as folks aren't happy to accept the nuns' kind offer of a €120million valued site for the price of €10 per year for 300 years, surely the only thing to be done is for the State to find a suitable site elsewhere? Problem solved!

Actually, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, where the state already owns an adjacent landbank, seems the perfect location. (As it would have been for the children's hospital.) Just off the M50, close to an existing train line, plenty of car parking for patients and staff, easily accessible to patients coming from all over the country, what's not to like? And no nuns either for the Catholicphobes!

I suppose we'd have to arrange visas and work permits for the South Dublin based consultants, but that shouldn't be an insurmountable difficulty.
 

Purple

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Seeing as folks aren't happy to accept the nuns' kind offer of a €120million valued site for the price of €10 per year for 300 years,
That's not what they are offering though. They are insisting that their company, which is strictly aligned to the values of their order and founder, runs the place. Did you miss that bit?
surely the only thing to be done is for the State to find a suitable site elsewhere? Problem solved!

Actually, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown, where the state already owns an adjacent landbank, seems the perfect location. (As it would have been for the children's hospital.) Just off the M50, close to an existing train line, plenty of car parking for patients and staff, easily accessible to patients coming from all over the country, what's not to like?
There's very little parking for patients in Connolly Hospital, the traffic in the area is a nightmare and the existing hospital is a kip.
And no nuns either for the Catholicphobes!
Or the people who don't want vested interest groups running public institutions.
I suppose we'd have to arrange visas and work permits for the South Dublin based consultants, but that shouldn't be an insurmountable difficulty.
That would be a massive problem. They have to get their yachts moved to Howth and how would they get back over to St. Vincent's Private or the Blackrock Clinic to do their real job?
 

Leo

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Very expensive lawyers have done the legal work, as tends to happen when property worth €100 million changes hands. The doctors appear happy with the lawyers work. As a lawyer might appear happy with a surgeon's work. Doesn't mean he wants to operate on himself!
You do know those clinicians don't have access the negotiations or the full details of the contracts? It would be highly unusual for an employer to share such sensitive information with their staff, or as you seem to be suggesting, staff of different organizations.
 

Purple

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You do know those clinicians don't have access the negotiations or the full details of the contracts? It would be highly unusual for an employer to share such sensitive information with their staff, or as you seem to be suggesting, staff of different organizations.
And nobody's seen the correspondence between the SVHG and their ultimate masters in the Vatican.

I'm not comfortable with the Irish State spending a billion Euro on a building which will be run by a holding company which is ultimately answerable to a foreign State, a State which has already incited sedition amongst Irish citizens when it instructed Irish Priests to give primacy to Cannon law ahead of Irish law in relation to the reporting of child rape and other abuse.
If the hospital was being run by a holding company owned by Elon Musk or Facebook there'd be an outcry but people are okay with this... it's simply bizarre.
 

Baby boomer

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You do know those clinicians don't have access the negotiations or the full details of the contracts?
Do you seriously expect them to? Do you live in the real world at all? In what universe, exactly, would regular staff of an organisation pore over complex legal documents to reassure themselves that everything is hunky and dory with a €120million transaction? Just doesn't happen, and any suggestion that because it doesn't, the deal is in some way unsatisfactory, just doesn't stand up. When a person buys a house, perhaps investing their life savings and taking on a burdensome mortgage, do we expect them to investigate the title documents or examine the "ethos" of the web of companies who owned the land and developed the site? Nope, that's what lawyers are for.


It would be highly unusual for an employer to share such sensitive information with their staff, or as you seem to be suggesting, staff of different organizations.
I'm not suggesting that at all! I'm merely pointing out that the actual staff of the hospital, the ones who do the procedures, and will be doing so in the future, are quite convinced all is well. They should know.

I heard Rhona Mahony on Brendan O'Connor's programme yesterday. She is a stalwart of the Repeal campaign with impeccable pro-choice credentials. She stated that there is now NO religious ethos at St. Vincents; that it is a purely secular institution; that abortions, sterilisations and other contentious procedures are and will be performed there, by herself among others; and that her medical colleagues are of the same opinion. (Retired cranks excepted, she might well have added but didn't.)

In contrast, we had Ruth Cop-whinger giving the standard anti-Catholic line. When asked did she believe Rhona Mahony, she replied ungraciously that she believed it was her opinion, and went off on a long rant about, among other stuff, the Vatican, child abuse, LGBT people and compensation payments, and ghostly spectres of long departed nuns.

So there you have it. On the one side, actual doctors with impeccable pro-choice credentials who work in Vincent's and tell us that there's no problem and they can and do carry out all procedures that women might want.

On the other side, people who don't work there, and with heavy ideological axes to grind, are saying the poor doctors are wrong and telling them that they do have a problem! I know who I'd believe!
 

Baby boomer

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And nobody's seen the correspondence between the SVHG and their ultimate masters in the Vatican.
Why should they? The SVHG are entitled to correspond privately with anyone on the planet. As you and I are equally entitled to do. Ultimately, the Vatican can do no more than express an opinion on the matter. Again, pretty much like you or I. And a Vatican opinion has precisely zero effect under Irish law. Again, pretty much on a par with your opinion or mine. If someone chooses to act on your opinion, my opinion or the Vatican's opinion, as long as such actions are lawful in Irish law, what's the big deal?

I'm not comfortable with the Irish State spending a billion Euro on a building which will be run by a holding company which is ultimately answerable to a foreign State,...
That's a complete misrepresentation. The Vatican has exactly zero legal authority over any of the new structures.

... a State which has already incited sedition amongst Irish citizens when it instructed Irish Priests to give primacy to Cannon law ahead of Irish law in relation to the reporting of child rape and other abuse.
Might be relevant if the Vatican State had any power in the new entity. It doesn't.


If the hospital was being run by a holding company owned by Elon Musk or Facebook there'd be an outcry but people are okay with this... it's simply bizarre.
I think you'll find they are commercial entities who would be interested in extracting profits. SVHG is a not for profit charity. If it was run by the Bill and Melinda Gates charitable foundation, would you have a problem, I wonder?
 

Leo

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Do you seriously expect them to? Do you live in the real world at all?
Hold on, you're the one that said they were happy with lawyers work on the contracts. So either you thought they had visibility into the detailed workings, or they were making assumptions from a place of complete ignorance.

At this stage I can only assume you are trolling here.
 

Purple

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Why should they? The SVHG are entitled to correspond privately with anyone on the planet. As you and I are equally entitled to do. Ultimately, the Vatican can do no more than express an opinion on the matter. Again, pretty much like you or I. And a Vatican opinion has precisely zero effect under Irish law. Again, pretty much on a par with your opinion or mine. If someone chooses to act on your opinion, my opinion or the Vatican's opinion, as long as such actions are lawful in Irish law, what's the big deal?
She's not a lawyer though.
That's a complete misrepresentation. The Vatican has exactly zero legal authority over any of the new structures.
The Vatican gave permission for the RSC to divest the land into their new holding company. We are unaware if the Vatican attached conditions to that divestiture. Given that absolute insistence of the RSC to retain ownership of the site we can assume that was one of the conditions. It would be helpful to know if there are other conditions.
Might be relevant if the Vatican State had any power in the new entity. It doesn't.
See above. They have a long history of lying and perverting the course of justice in this country. Only an idiot would trust them.
I think you'll find they are commercial entities who would be interested in extracting profits. SVHG is a not for profit charity.
That's a recipe for waste, as can be seen in throughout the entire not for profit private hospital system.
If it was run by the Bill and Melinda Gates charitable foundation, would you have a problem, I wonder?
If there was complete clarity over the control of the hospital then no but I wouldn't be happy for the State to spend a billion Euro to build a hospital they would run on land they owned.
 

Peanuts20

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I do find the Catholic bashing part of this debate (in general and not neccessarily on here) rather tedious and depressing and out of date and actually bordering on bigotry at times. No argument the church has a lot to answer for historically but it has changed and for the most part recognises it's place in a new Ireland. Yes, there are some in it that don't and there are some clueless morons in the Vatican but we have plenty of woke eejits on the other side also who won't listen to any kind of a counter argument either. Plenty of people, myself included for example, quite happily voted for gay marriage and walked into mass the following day without a worry in the world about the result and saw no conflict in what we voted for and what we believe.

I also take what Vincent Browne says with a large pinch of salt these days, he is a "down with that sort of thing" commentator these days, unable to listen to other views with his mind made up long before he starts.

The hospital will be controlled 100% by the state, the Vatican will not be able to do anything about it and to think otherwise is frankly bizarre. There won't be priests and nuns running around the corridors checking on procedures. There may be staff members who will not carry out abortions because of their personal belief system but that is nothing to do with who controls the land. They could be CoI members, Muslims or atheists as well as Catholics who just don't agree with abortion.

I wonder how many of the people protesting on the lease wording would turn around and use the same complaints around the Peter McVery Trust, Merchant Quay, Trocarie, Cuan Mhuire, Focus Ireland, the list goes on and on?
 
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