‘To suggest any religious ethos is untrue’
DR RHONA Mahony took to Today With Seán O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1 yesterday to tell listeners: ‘Let’s be clear here, I am speaking on behalf of the National Maternity Hospital.
‘I have been directly involved in the negotiations and I understand the agreement which is backed up by really sound legal advice.
‘First of all I am really surprised that the chairman of the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology would be so misleading on radio to suggest the nuns will be running the hospital. This is not true.
‘To suggest this hospital will be run under a Catholic ethos – this is not true.
‘When the National Maternity Hospital moves to the Elm Park campus it will be an independent hospital and an independent company with its own independent board dedicated solely to the provision of gynaecological, maternity and neonatal services.
‘The services we provide at the National Maternity Hospital at the moment are absolutely protected under the reserve powers.
‘We will continue to practice contraception. We will continue to terminate pregnancy in order to save women’s lives.
‘We will continue to deliver excellence in healthcare and... the ethos of the new National Maternity Hospital will be excellence in clinical care. There will not be any religious ethos.’
Dr Mahony added: ‘The ownership of the public hospital is not really here or there.
‘It is control and delivery of services within that hospital that is important.
‘I couldn’t care less who owns my hospital building but I really care that I have control over the service that I deliver and that I can give clinical care to women that is appropriate. It is not the way forward to continue to stay in a dilapidated building that cannot provide the facilities for modern care.
‘So, are we really going to misinform people?
‘We will be an independent company that will operate entirely independently, clinically.
‘I think we really need to get behind this hospital and get it built because the risks women are enduring and the privation and the poor conditions that women are enduring in this country are a disgrace.
She added: ‘What we don’t need is misinformation and we don’t need is scaremongering and what we don’t need is completely inaccurate information.
‘And what we don’t need is this attack on the nuns, who will not be involved in the delivery of maternity gynaecological and neonatal care.’