Gavin Mendel-Gleason Remarks made by the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, Phonsie Cullinan, in relation to the HPV vaccine, show the urgency of removing healthcare from church hands entirely, according to the Workers’ Party.

Gavin Mendel-Gleason, Workers’ Party spokesperson for Dublin Northwest, said:

“The Bishop’s attacks on a vaccination which has been proven to save lives should be utterly irrelevant. He is a man with zero medical, scientific, or for that matter social policy expertise – his views should have no more bearing on the public discussion on the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer than any other private citizen.

“And yet, they are newsworthy in Ireland, because our public healthcare system remains deeply entrenched in the church.”

Mendel-Gleason called for the immediate divestment of all publicly-funded hospitals and healthcare from church hands, saying:

“We cannot allow public healthcare to be run by an institution whose views on something as basic as an anti-cancer vaccination are driven not by medicine but by outdated religious diktats. What provisions are there that a catholic hospital would not choose to accept the views of the Bishop on this vaccine?

“I want my children to attend doctors and hospitals which are funded and controlled democratically, by the state. This means the immediate, compulsory divestment of all publicly-funded hospitals, away from the Catholic church and all other churchs and into state hands.”