National Children’s Hospital delays ‘a fiasco’ says Sinn Féin Cllr

by Rachel Cunningham
0 comment

Rachel Cunningham

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health has described the construction of the National Children’s Hospital as a fiasco.

David Cullinane’s comments came after recent revelations regarding the project’s planning, prompting him to call on the Minister for Health to urgently get to grips with the situation.

“The construction of the National Children’s Hospital, predominantly on Fine Gael’s watch, has been a disaster,” said Mr Cullinane.

“There is no certainty about a final cost or a final completion date. It is a fiasco. The hospital board and the contractor are now openly at war and all the while, costs are rising.

“In 2019, Stephen Donnelly branded the increase in costs associated with construction a ‘scandal’. At that time, the projected cost had increased to €1 billion. We are now at €2 billion and counting.

“Yet, under his leadership, nothing has changed.”

Plans for the new hospital promise improved facilities for new and expanded maternity and gynaecology services, in addition to an increase of 80 more beds, which will be provided in individual rooms, compared with Holles Street’s current capacity.

However, the proposed relocation of the National Maternity Hospital from from Holles Street to St Vincent’s campus in south Dublin has seen much opposition since it was approved in principle by the Cabinet last May.

The move has sparked debate, particularly surrounding claims that the Sisters of Charity, the religious order which owned St Vincent’s, would have influence regarding the running of the hospital.

This has been rejected by the government and by many National Maternity Hospital clinicians.

Last week, Minister Donnelly again rejected the idea that there was a governance or control issue over the establishment of the new maternity hospital.

Mr Cullinane criticised the delays to the project, , whereby every given timeframe has “come and gone”, and its cost to the tax payer.

“We need a real completion date, we need a real timeframe and we need to do everything possible to ensure this project is brought back on track.

“There is a responsibility on the Minister for Health to get off the sidelines and show leadership, knock heads together and ensure the board and BAM are doing everything possible to make sure this project comes in on time,” he concluded.

Related Articles