Rising cost of national children’s hospital

 

Sir, – The financial fiasco that the construction of the national children’s hospital has become (“Rising cost of national children’s hospital a scandal in the making”, Analysis, December 22nd) should surely invoke the maxim “when in a hole, stop digging”.

Rather than reacting by blithely shifting funds from other health projects and from capital projects in other departments to meet the escalating costs, the Government should instead demonstrate that it takes seriously its responsibility as the custodian of the public purse.

Construction should be stopped immediately and the project at its current location terminated and relocated to a different site with effective controls and oversight in place.

It is the height of foolishness to continue spending good money after bad. – Yours, etc,

Prof LOUIS BRENNAN,

Trinity Business School,

Trinity College, Dublin 2.

Sir, – Further to “Children’s hospital may sell naming rights to donors” (News, December 27th), we, the people of the Republic, are the sponsors of the National Children’s Hospital given that we fund the costs involved and will continue to do so once it is commissioned and working. Naming the new hospital after some private donor will serve as a constant reminder of the mismanagement of our public finances by our elected and appointed officials over decades. We need to honour those who showed quiet competence in providing healthcare rather than allow our Government engage in grand gestures by pandering to people seeking to memorialise themselves with a tiny financial contribution to an expensive national facility.

It seems that the wisdom of crowds recognise this with the support shown for naming the hospital after Dr Kathleen Lynn.

What better way to mark the centenary of Lynn’s founding, in 1919, a children’s hospital which became the centre for BCG vaccination at a time when tuberculosis was rampant and there was no Department of Health? – Yours, etc,

DONAL O’BROLCHAIN,

Dublin 9.

Sir, – With regard to the consideration of sponsers’ names for parts of the new children’s hospital, I suggest that the remaining wards, and operating theatres, be named Taxpayer 1, Taxpayer 2, etc, to reflect the far larger contribution of the Irish taxpayers to the project. – Yours, etc,

MARIE HUMPHRIES,

Drumcondra,Dublin 9.

Sir, – Why stop at the children’s hospital? Why not Tesco Leinster House or AXA Government Buildings or SuperValu Four Courts? Diageo Iveagh House might be a natural fit. – Yours, etc,

PN CORISH,

Rathgar, Dublin 6.