Picking a site for children's hospital


Madam, – Dr David Vaughan’s opinion that “alternatives to Mater site cannot possibly provide the world-class national children’s hospital that this country is crying out for” is redolent of the type of arrogance familiar in Irish medicine (Opinion, March 14th).

Cardiac surgeons in the UK and Ireland now publish individual outcomes of their procedures and “world class” can be numerically defined in hard numbers of survival, cardiac function studies and quality of life. Cancer rates and outcomes are also quantified and monitored. Accreditation and licencing should be the business of Hiqa to ensure adequate standards.

The Mater is not the best site for a paediatric hospital. There is nothing wrong with moving an adult hospital to the “best site” somewhere along the central M50 or using the Connolly site, already State owned. There is quite a difference between the bulk of A E paediatrics as seen at Temple Street and cold, specialised cases from across the country.

It is reasonable to have an acute paediatric A E unit in Dublin city centre at the Mater where children with metabolic and other rare acute presentations can be transferred out to the new paediatric institution near the M50 in the same manner as children from anywhere else in the country. The new maternity and women’s hospital could be co-located there and not at the Mater.

It is true that high-standard research and development requires critical mass and good facilities. The best results for the country will come from collaboration with the universities and colleges of technology. None of these are better served by the Mater site. – Yours, etc,


Consultant Chemical Pathologist,

Glasnevin Avenue,

Dublin 11.