Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says vague phrase ‘clinically appropriate’ doesn’t belong in maternity hospital documents

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said the phrase “clinically appropriate” in relation to the new National Maternity Hospital remains vague and should be removed from documents related to the hospital.

Addressing the Taoiseach today during Leaders’ Questions, Deputy Pringle said a recurring issue over the course of hearings held in the past two weeks, “was the unexplained term that appears like a rash throughout the various, contracts, and licences, and constitutions, and leases, and fact sheets, and option agreements: ‘Clinically appropriate’.

“Minister Donnelly’s initial explanation of its need to be there, to prevent St. Vincent’s from turning the place into a drive through McDonald’s or the likes holds no water. And there has been no better explanation put forward since,” he said.

He said representatives put forward by the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, and St Vincent’s at committee last week said they were happy to see it removed.

Deputy Pringle said: “Yet, it’s still there. Why?” Removing the phrase, he said, “would go a long way to removing the ambiguity that the spider’s web of corporate structures has created”.

The phrase doesn’t need to be clarified, it needs to be removed, he said.

Deputy Pringle said: “We all agree that the hospital should be a public hospital on public land – sure your government even supported Joan Collins’s private member’s motion in that regard. Yet as you appear to be hell-bent on ploughing on with this second-rate option, will your government commit to removal of the term ‘clinically appropriate’ from all documentation in relation to the development of the new maternity hospital? 

“That is within your control, Taoiseach, and it emanated from a government department as well,” he said.