Plan for a new children's hospital
Sir, – Following the rejection by An Bord Pleanála of the new children’s hospital plan, the alternative proposals currently being considered offer a second-best option. It would be ludicrous to spend in excess of €500 million and end up with a second rate hospital.
This problem needs to be looked at in conjunction with two other very important issues.
Dublin has too many small-to- medium sized adult hospitals (eg St Vincent’s, St James’s, Tallaght, Mater, Beaumont and James Connolly). Most modern cities have, or are planning to, consolidate their hospitals into larger hospitals (at least twice the size of the current Mater hospital). It is inevitable that Dublin will do the same.
The training of the next generation of hospital consultants in Ireland is fragmented. Married doctors in their 30s with dependent children are rotated through Cork, south Dublin, west Dublin, Galway, north Dublin, Limerick, etc, on an annual basis. Our current crop of hospitals is too small to offer comprehensive training in one location.
Might I offer the following proposals for consideration: 1. Locate a greenfield site close to the campus of a university medical school which can accommodate a new children’s hospital, new maternity hospital and a very large (three times the size of the current Mater Hospital) adult hospital. 2. Resource the existing paediatric hospitals up to 2020. 3. Complete the building of the paediatric and maternity hospitals by 2020. 4. The large adult hospital can follow later. – Yours, etc,