Howlin insists national children’s hospital will be fully equipped and staffed

Assurance welcomed by Varadkar who had warned about ability to equip hospital

 Minister for Public Expenditure and  Reform, Brendan Howlin TD. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

 
Brendan Howlin

built.

His assurance was welcomed last night by Minister for Health Leo Varadkar who, as The Irish Times reported yesterday, told Mr Howlin last August the Government had enough money to build the hospital but not to equip it. “If it is decided to cancel the new children’s hospital [...]we should do so sooner rather than later,” Mr Varadkar told his Cabinet colleague in a letter sent during the pre-budget planning process.

Mr Varadkar said yesterday the Government was committed to developing a new children’s hospital “we can all be proud of”.

Design team

However, Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher said Mr Varadkar’s letter raised a question mark over the project going ahead.

“Either Minister Varadkar has discovered his predecessor’s budget planning for the hospital was woefully inadequate and the project is now genuinely under threat.

“Or he is fighting for extra funding and has taken to threatening his Coalition colleague in writing,”said Mr Kelleher