Cost of National Children’s Hospital

 

Sir, – On April 11 th, 2019, I appeared before the Public Accounts Committee to request that the construction of the National Children’s Hospital (NCH) on the St James’s site in Dublin be forensically re-examined in relation to its sky-rocketing costs – as well as the Government’s future plans to build a co-located maternity hospital there. Beyond a polite thank you, I received no reply. That was before Covid-19.

With projected costs now leaving the stratosphere (“New Covid safety measures could increase cost of National Children’s Hospital by 40 per cent”, News, May 19th) and the country heading into recession, the incoming government will need to respond swiftly to this increasingly complex medical emergency, before it gets completely out of control and swamps many other badly needed healthcare capital projects – or becomes “unbuildable’.

Learning from the experience and success of the National Public Health Emergency Team in dealing with Covid-19, I believe the incoming government should establish an equivalent multidisciplinary emergency think-tank of relevant experts (medical, financial, legal, construction, etc) to advise politicians how best to get the National Children’s Hospital built in St James’s – as fast, as safely and as affordably as we possibly can. – Yours, etc,

Prof CHRIS FITZPATRICK,

Consultant Obstetrician

and Gynaecologist,

Coombe Women and Infants

University Hospital,

Dublin 8.