New children's hospital site

 

Madam, – We write as a group of consultant paediatricians based at the Mid-Western Regional and Maternity Hospitals, Limerick, in response to the letter of Dr David Vaughan (October 18th). Dr Vaughan states, “Clearly, Irish, not just Dublin, paediatricians believe it [the proposed Mater site] is a superior choice”. We fail to understand how Dr Vaughan can make such a sweeping claim when there has been no poll of the views of consultant paediatricians across Ireland in relation to the site for the new national children’s hospital. – Yours, etc,

Dr MICHAEL J MAHONY,

Dr ROY PHILIP,

Dr CON SREENAN,

Dr TOM STACK

Dr JOHN TWOMEY,

Consultant Paediatricians,

Limerick Regional Maternity

Hospitals,

Dooradoyle, Limerick.

Madam, – Another Tuesday has come and, again, I miss the late Maurice Neligan’s contribution to the HEALTHplus. There was a strength and openness in his writing that reflected the strength and greatness of his life and work.

Some weeks ago I was particularly glad to read of his revised opinion on the siting of the national children’s hospital on the Mater site – a revision based on his recognition that what is paramount in this issue is consideration of what is supportive of the best interest of the children to be treated there. That he could openly admit his error and regret it is an indication of his compassion, his genuineness and of his lack of hubris in this matter.

Would that Minister for Health Mary Harney and others could learn from such greatness. – Yours, etc,

CARMEL GRIMLEY,

Manor Rise,

Dublin 16.

Madam, – This Minister for Health is not for turning. Her denial of the reality that the Mater site is the wrong location for the new children’s hospital is shocking to the vast majority of parents and health professionals all over Ireland. One could be forgiven for believing we are living in a dictatorship. No consultation, no transparency, no inclusiveness and certainly no listening to the many critical voices who feel that Mary Harney’s plans for the future do not promise the best hospital for generations of our sick children, many as yet unborn.

We are told that €1 billion will have to be cut from the health budget in 2011. She could start by immediately calling a halt to the Mater site madness and build the hospital on a greenfield site at the M50 and save her department at least €300 million.

How can the Minister for Finance continue to condone this astounding waste? If he does not put an end to this insanity then hopefully the IMF will. – Yours, etc,

ROISIN KNOX,

Willowbank Park,

Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.