The Government is planning to press ahead with plans to locate the National Maternity Hospital at the St Vincent’s Hospital site in Dublin.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that concerns about the ownership agreement over the new hospital have been “comprehensively addressed”.
He told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that in his view, the current hospital was not fit for purpose and that plans for the new hospital were a significant advance.
The proposal to co-locate it at St Vincent’s had been agreed by experts 20 years ago and that part of the debate was being lost, he said.
Fears over ownership had been comprehensively addressed through the constitution of the new hospital, which would be obliged to carry out all procedures legal in the State.
The new hospital will be “more secular” than the current hospital which was already carrying out all these procedures and the Minister for Health would also have the power to instruct the hospital to provide such services, he added.