Mater Misericordiae University Hospital

Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin

The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (commonly known as the Mater) is a major teaching hospital, based at Eccles Street, Phibsboro, on the northside of Dublin, Ireland.

The hospital stands next to the Children's Hospital, and has provided public hospital care to adult patients for more than 150 years. It was established by the Sisters of Mercy as a Roman Catholic voluntary hospital within the health system of the Republic of Ireland.

It is associated with the National University of Ireland, University College Dublin and provides national tertiary care in many branches of medicine.

The first endoscope was used in the Mater. The hospital is mentioned by Buck Mulligan in James Joyce's Ulysses.

The Mater Hospital is a tertiary referral centre for cardiothoracic surgery as well as housing the National Spinal injuries unit. It also houses the national heart and lung transplant programme. The National Pulmonary Hypertension Unit is also the leading centre in this area in Ireland. It also is a major centre for cardiology offering the only 24 hour, 365 days per year interventional cardiology service in the country. It is also expected to be the first public hospital in Ireland to offer percutaneous heart valve replacement in the coming weeks. It offers regional dermatology and opthalmology service. As well as nephrology, neurology, respiratory medicine, endocrinology and diabetology, GI medicine and hepatology and infectious diseases, which contains a new multi million euro negative pressure ventilation ward to house the national bioterrorism unit.

New Children's Hospital

The Irish Government has decided to locate a new €500 million children's hospital complex on the site of the Mater, a decision that is proving somewhat controversial given the congestion in Dublin at the location of the Mater and the fact that it is in the Taoiseach's constituency. Government strategy is to build a single national children's hospital that would build on the depth and expertise of the Mater's adult services and become internationally distinguished. The decision to locate on a single site was made after a report by consulting firm McKinsey and is supported by the medical profession and the public generally. The decision to locate this centre at the Mater site was taken following a task force evaluation by the Health Service Executive, which can be read on the HSE website. It cites speed of delivery of the project as the primary differentiating reason for selecting the Mater site over the other bids. The new hospital has an upper target of 590 beds and a lower target of 390 beds.

The existing hospital facility is expected to be renovated and to include a new maternity unit.

The Sisters of Mercy are required to donate the site for this hospital to the State, unencumbered and without compensation. The order had understood that the new facility would be owned by the State and its management vested in a company independent of the nuns. The nuns, as landlords, would have expected representation on the board of the management company and to have been in a position to enforce a Roman Catholic ethos.

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