Nuns hospital claims 'ridiculous'
Claims that an order of nuns is attempting to control Irish maternity services are sensationalist and ridiculous, chairman of the St Vincent's Healthcare Group James Menton has said.
In a letter to staff in St Vincent's public and private hospitals, he responded to controversy over a bid by the board to gain control over the clinical and corporate governance of the National Maternity Hospital when it moves to its campus.
The move, which is being resisted by the maternity hospital, is holding up the submission of planning permission for the new building. The sole shareholders of the company which oversees St Vincent's are the Religious Sisters of Charity.
Mr Menton said: "Every single day, there will be movement of patients, staff and shared services between the hospitals - particularly involving acute cases - yet we are being told that operating a single system of clinical and corporate governance would cause a risk to these patients.
"This simply is not credible. Indeed, we believe that not having integrated clinical and corporate governance would result in unnecessary risk to the national maternity hospitals and the St Vincent's healthcare group". He said the group does not compromise on patient care for ethical or religious reasons.