Minister may scrap board developing national children's hospital project
Minister for Health James Reilly has left the 12 vacant seats on the board developing the new national children’s hospital unfilled and is considering its abolition.
With no board or chief executive in place, work on the Government’s flagship healthcare building project, launched to great fanfare last November, has essentially ground to a halt.
A turf war has erupted between St James’s Hospital, where the building is to be located, and the Health Service Executive over control of the project. St James’s has told the Department of Health it should be the department’s direct client for the project, rather than being answerable to the HSE. This position is being resisted by the HSE, according to sources.
Seats on the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board have been left vacant since last December 5th and the project is currently being managed by an acting chief executive.
The outgoing chairman of the board, businessman Harry Crosbie, had expressed an interest in staying on following the announcement last November by Mr Reilly awarding the project to St James’s.
One source said Mr Crosbie and other members had been “given their P45s”. Mr Crosbie declined to comment.
A spokesman for the Minister said Dr Reilly intended to bring proposals to Government shortly in relation to the governance arrangements for the project.
“Following implementation of the governance arrangements as decided, appropriate procedures in respect of board appointments will be followed.”