Children's hospital board criticised


MEMBERS OF the board set up to oversee the development of the new national children’s hospital have been asked by a campaign group to consider their positions, in light of the resignation of the board’s chairman, Philip Lynch.

The call was made by the New Children’s Hospital Alliance, a group of professionals, parents and others concerned by the decision to locate the hospital on the site of the Mater hospital campus.

News of Mr Lynch’s resignation came last week, three years after Minister for Health Mary Harney appointed him as chairman of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.

It is understood that Mr Lynch resigned amid concerns about the funding of the €650 million project. The State is providing some €400 to €450 million to the project but it is still unclear how the shortfall will be made up.

It has been suggested that the gap in funding could be met by a loan, or by donations from philanthropic agencies, the National Lottery or education bodies.

The decision to locate the hospital on the city centre campus has been controversial since it was announced more than four years ago, with concerns raised about traffic, lack of parking and space constraints.

The Irish Timesreported last week that a number of parties had recently approached Mr Lynch, chief executive of investment company One51, pointing out that the hospital could have been built for significantly less on a different site.

It is understood that he raised this with Ms Harney but was told that the debate on the location of the new hospital was closed.

The New Children’s Hospital Alliance has repeated its call on Mr Lynch to make a public statement on his resignation and said this was in the interests of sick children.

Ms Harney has appointed businessman John Gallagher as his replacement and said she looked forward to the board under his chairmanship, and the HSE “moving forward to deliver a world-class children’s hospital on the Mater campus”.