Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the government is being presented with a golden opportunity to rescue the National Children’s Hospital project from a decade of intractable location and access problems.
Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of the Dáil debate on a Motion being brought forward by members of the Rural Independent Group and other independent TD’s and which is calling for an immediate suspension of works at the St James Hospital site:
“Our Motion is making two very clear requests: the first is to immediately suspend construction of the National Children’s Hospital at the St James’s Hospital site pending the outcome of a time-limited independent investigation to assess the viability, cost and efficacy of re-tendering the project and transferring its location to a greenfield site with the capacity to include the co-location of a maternity hospital
The second is to utilise any site preparation work already started at St. James’s Hospital to develop a satellite children’s urgent care centre, further adult services or any other services deemed most appropriate in the event that a recommendation for relocation is made following the outcome of the independent investigation.
As challenging as it is, this government must introduce some kind of political humility into the debate and admit that the St James’ site always has been and always will be, the wrong site.
The capacity issues are already absolutely clear and they will not get better with time. The government and Minister Harris’ ignored the warnings offered in our first Motion on this issue in 2017.
They now have an opportunity to rectify that tragic mistake and demonstrate that their only real concern is to deliver the optimal outcomes for the sickest children in this country,” concluded Deputy McGrath.