Updated: 03/05/17 : 17:56:17
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Harris to take month to get ownership of National Maternity Hospital 'absolutely right'

The Health Minister says giving him an extra month to examine the ownership model of the National Maternity Hospital will help him get it "absolutely right".

Simon Harris has insisted the current model for the facility will give it complete autonomy and independence from its religious owners.

The ownership of the hospital is being discussed for the first time in the Dáil this afternoon.

Simon Harris has told TDs he wants more time to talk to both the Holles Street and St Vincent's hospitals.

"What I'm telling you is the purpose of the next month, to be very clear, the purpose of the next month is we have heard the public concerns and I want to use the next month to further engage with the hospitals.

"I think that's the appropriate thing to do, I think that's what a politician does when they listen to public concern, I am going to further engage on the issues including the issue of ownership," he said.