Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has repeatedly indicated that he does not wish to be involved in the running of the NMH. Britannia rules - no way. Paid family leave can also be taken in as small as one day increments. If you apply for eight weeks of leave but later change your mind and only want to take four weeks, it will be up to the insurance carrier whether you can end your leave early, and your employer may be put in a difficult spot if you come back sooner than you originally indicated. If you earn less than average, the amount you get will be calculated based on your salary.
The NMH looks set to move into a strongly Catholic environment. The Religious Sisters of Charity have actively sought to inculcate their mission into staff.
Arrangements made by private Catholic health care facilities are a matter for themselves. But difficulties arise when public funding enters the picture. Six months after the Mulvey report, to great fanfare, the nuns announced they were giving up their hospitals.
Three weeks earlier, 1, people had demonstrated on the streets of Dublin against their planned ownership of the new NMH. This suggests, of course, that current board members are congregational appointees. Congregational leader Sr Mary Christian also announced the setting up of an entity to take ownership of their facilities. This was confirmed by the chairman, who reassured the public, and possibly the Papal Nuncio, that the SVHG board, management and 4, staff would continue to provide acute healthcare services in line with these values.
So far, so unclear. So why set it up in the first place? It seems unlikely the Religious Sisters of Charity would not want to follow their example. They have already done so elsewhere. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has repeatedly indicated that he does not wish to be involved in the running of the NMH. If the governing authority is the Vatican, it will require annual reports showing evidence of compliance with Church teaching. Two key aspects have been veiled. One is the proposed government funding of a private hospital — in contravention of Government healthcare policy separating the public from the private.
The National Maternity Hospital launched a judicial review last January challenging a decision by the minister for health to order a Hiqa inquiry into patient safety issues.
The inquiry was set up in the wake of the death of Malak Thawley, 34, whose aorta was accidentally torn during emergency surgery at the hospital in for an ectopic pregnancy. The NMH, for its part, claims the minister acted outside his powers, given that there have already been three inquiries, and says a statutory inquiry would be highly disruptive and would undermine public confidence. The second feature that jumps out is the denominational aspect. It is preposterous to pretend, as the minister for health has repeatedly done, that the new NMH will be free of religious influence.
In recent decades, the NMH has portrayed itself as a secular hospital while technically under diocesan control. The minister has indicated the deal, on which he has sole sign-off, is progressing, but evidence given to the High Court last week shows the deal stalled last January, after the NMH launched its legal challenge to the minister.
The current deadlock is an opportunity. Only public pressure will derail a deal that dovetails so well with vested interests. Gore Gambela Road Upgrading Ethiopia. Supervision of Lot 3 Road Project Lesotho. Supervision of Central Power Plant Mali. Sarah Complex Mahboula, Kuwait. Hilton Resort Mangaf, Kuwait.
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