Moving children's hospital site could cost €140m
Completion of the new national children’s hospital will be delayed by at least 2½ years if the Mater is not chosen as the location, the Government-appointed group developing the project has warned.
The cost of moving the project from the Mater to another location is €120-140 million, according to a previously unpublished memo from the National Hospital Paediatric Development Board.
On the eve of Cabinet consideration of the issue tomorrow, the head of the Mater bid yesterday launched an angry attack on the “shambolic” process for selecting the site. Prof Brendan Kinsley said matters “reached a new low” with the leaking last week of the report of the Dolphin review group, which assessed the different bids. Leaks suggested the group favoured St James’s Hospital for the project and stated that tri-location with adult and maternity hospitals was “optional”.
Prof Kinsley said it would be “impossible or at best unlikely” to build the hospital on any other site by the Government’s deadline of 2016. Tri-location was accepted best practice internationally, he said. The paediatricians on the review group were from Ireland only, in contrast to previous reviews which used international expertise.
Minister for Health James Reilly is expected to recommend to Cabinet that the project be located at St James’s, though the building may be near the Coombe hospital.
According to the board memo, a five-year delay would add up to €280 million to the net cost. “In addition, any delay in delivery of the hospital may require capital work and equipment upgrades to the existing children’s hospitals, resulting in additional costs to the State.”
It says three years of work have been carried out for the development of the hospital at the Mater, at a cost of €70 million. Prof Kinsley said none of this money can be recovered.