Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that the delay in transporting a patient suspected of having contracted the Ebola virus has inadvertently highlighted the difficulties which would emerge if the building of the National Children’s Hospital proceeds at the St James Hospital site. Deputy McGrath was speaking after Mr Jonathan Irwin of the Jack & Jill Foundation highlighted the incident as indicative of the kind of delays that children with serious illness would be subject too on a routine basis:
“Although the Ambulance crew clearly made every effort to get this unfortunate woman to the Mater Hospital as quickly as they could, they were hampered by the backlog of traffic caused by a protest earlier this morning.
It is clear that the St James site is going to be equally subject to such delays and this excludes delays caused by traffic coming to a standstill because of protests.
This incident has highlighted what we are proposing to subject seriously sick and vulnerable children too by the refusal of Government to countenance a transfer of the preferred site location to Blanchardstown outside the city centre.
The National Children’s Hospital needs to be placed at a readily accessible site where the risk of a dangerous delay is minimised. We should take what we can from this frightening incident today and use it as a clear example of the kind of challenges that lie ahead; challenges that can easily be avoided I might add,” concluded Deputy McGrath.