New children's hospital site

 

Madam, – We, the staff of the Children’s University Hospital, fully support the national paediatric hospital development. We are encouraged by Minister for Health Mary Harney’s enthusiasm and commitment to providing a world-class hospital for the children of Ireland.

As paediatric medical practitioners we are acutely aware of the importance of this project for sick children. A substantial amount of money and, more importantly, four years have already been invested in the development. Matters are now at a critical stage with building due to commence in the latter half of 2011. There can be no turning back.

It is important that the State’s scarce tertiary expertise and services are concentrated in one centre. It is the cornerstone of best care. We encounter daily examples where children have to travel between hospitals across the city for specialist treatment that they need. The sick child with complex problems needs all her doctors, nurses and paramedical staff to be gathered under the one roof. Where that roof is located is of secondary importance and should be left in the expert hands of the architects and planners.

The proposed new hospital is beautifully designed and when completed will be a wonderful gift for the children of Ireland. It deserves everybody’s support. We are all aware that if the national paediatric hospital does not go ahead at this time, it is likely that the planning of a single tertiary centre for children will not be revisited for another 25 years. No stone should be left unturned in delivering this gift. – Yours, etc,

Dr LIAM CLAFFEY,

Chairman, Medical Board,

Children’s University Hospital,

Temple Street, Dublin 1.

Madam, – On Tuesday last week I left Beaumont hospital at 5.40pm to go to the Mater hospital. My car journey of 4.7km took 55 minutes. My progress may have been hindered by a rare shower of rain which impeded the rush-hour traffic. Will the sun always shine on the new paediatric hospital? – Yours, etc,

Dr BLÁNAID HAYES,

Upper Rathmines Road,

Dublin 6.

Madam, – I don’t believe the Government when it says the new children’s hospital will cost €650 million (Breaking News, October 15th). I don’t believe it will be operational by 2015. I don’t believe that the “free” parking will stay that way. I don’t believe the process of choosing this site has been transparent. I can’t believe Minister for Health Mary Harney continues to ignore the countless voices of professionals and parents who believe this location is wrong.

The whole thing is unbelievable. – Yours, etc,

DON O’CONNOR,

Newtownmountkennedy,

Co Wicklow.