26 April 2017
By Tom O’Sullivan
Cork North Cental Solidarity TD Mick Barry this morning said that the Dail’s Future of Healthcare committee must address the issue of the ownership of publicly-funded hospitals by religious institutions in the wake of the National Maternity Hospital controversy.
Deputy Barry, Solidarity-PBP’s representative on the Future of Healthcare committee, said that hospitals funded by the taxpayer should be owned by the State on behalf of all the people and that ownership of publicly-funded hospitals by religious institutions should be ended.
He called for the establishment of an Irish National Health Service with the nationalisation of the voluntary hospital sector and other hospitals owned by religious institutions and their full integration into the public hospital system.
He said that many hospital buildings and their equipment had been given free of charge in the past to religious orders by right-wing governments and that the process should now be reversed.
He said: “The National Maternity Hospital controversy has revealed a deep desire among a large portion of the population for a separation of Church and State including a separation of church from state in the provision of healthcare. There should be no place for ownership by religious orders of publicly-funded healthcare facilities in 21st century Ireland.”
The Future of Healthcare committee is due to present its final report to the Dail by the end of May.