Tuesday 20 August 2019

New hospital operating licence to be extended

An artist's impression of the proposed new National Maternity Hospital
An artist's impression of the proposed new National Maternity Hospital
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

THE Government is set to extend an operating licence for the company behind the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) beyond 20 years.

Under a complex legal arrangement to facilitate the co-location of the new NMH on lands owned by the St Vincent's Hospital Group (SVHG), the company will extend a 99-year lease to the Health Services Executive for use of SVHG's land and buildings.

The State, through the aegis of the HSE, proposed to issue a 20-year licence to the new designated activity company (DAC) that will operate the new NMH.

There were initial concerns that a 20-year licence, with onerous revocation clauses, could jeopardise the new NMH DAC.

However, it is understood that the State, through the HSE, will extend the duration of the operating licence, whilst protecting its ownership of the new hospital.

The Religious Sisters of Charity (RSC) has formally divested ownership of the SVHG, relinquishing its shares in the hospital group founded by the Catholic order, it is understood.

The RSC will have no involvement in the new hospital.

The proceeds of the sale of the current NMH at Holles Street, Dublin, which could fetch up to €100m, will be used for the building of the new hospital.

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