The National Maternity Hospital in Holles St does all of that now, though in unacceptable and often Dickensian conditions. So do other maternity hospitals.
- Will the State own the hospital? Yes it will — it will be the national, state-owned hospital, built and funded by the State. The State will own it on a leasehold basis for the next 299 years.
- Will the State own the land on which it is built? No, but there will be a 299-year lease at a rent of €10 a year. That rent can only be increased if the HSE tries to use the site for purposes other than healthcare.
- Who will actually run the hospital? The hospital will be a charity, regulated under charity law, and managed by a board of trustees.
- Nobody will have a controlling interest, and nobody will have a beneficial interest, except that the minister for health will have a “golden share” to protect the core values of the hospital.
- What role will religion play? None whatsoever. The Sisters of Charity have left healthcare in
- Ireland, and their shareholding in St Vincent’s has been transferred to another charity — not a private company, as some allege, but a charity, regulated by law. The constitution of that charity makes no reference whatever to religious ethos.
- At the moment in Holles St, all obstetric, neonatal, and gynaecological care permissible within Irish law is available — and that includes abortion, tubal ligation, gender affirming surgery, and assisted reproduction. Will all that continue in the new hospital? The answer to that question is yes.