The Minister for Health has told the Dáil that he expects agreement on the ownership and governance model of the National Maternity Hospital in the coming weeks.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Simon Harris sought to "debunk a few myths", and said he was not giving any hospital to the nuns despite flyers being handed out by people saying otherwise.

Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Bríd Smith asked why St Vincent's University Hospital had not registered as a charitable organisation, and she queried if there was a cold war between the minister and the organisations concerned.

The minister said three things needed to be done.

The first one was sorting out the charitable status of St Vincent's Hospital and "giving effect to the fact the nuns are leaving", which he said he could not comment on until it is resolved. 

Secondly, he said there is the issue of insuring there is robust and modern governance, which he said will see the State "having a seat at the table".

Thirdly, he said, is the issue of public ownership, the question of who owns the building - so there are safeguards that he said are not there today.