Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly TD says the government must ensure that cost savings on the National Children’s Hospital are made.

He was responding to assertions made by the Tánaiste in the Dáil today that ‘nobody is suggesting we can build this hospital for less than it’s currently costing’.

Deputy Donnelly explained, “This hospital could and should be built for a lot less than its present €1.73 bn price-tag. It must be possible to reduce costs without compromising on quality for the vulnerable children we’re trying to help here.

“Let’s start by taking a look at the structure of the building itself. The design is a donut-shaped vanity project for this government with curved-glass walls and a hole in the middle. There’s a reason that we don’t see many donut-shaped buildings, with curved-glass walls and a hole in the middle, that’s because they’re so expensive to construct.
“The Cabinet appears to be engaging in collective delusion that nearly €2bn is a ‘reasonable price’, but Irish taxpayers know they’re paying for this fiasco. The government’s vanity is costing the Irish people more than twice as much per room as the most expensive hospitals on earth, and four times as much per room as Liverpool’s new Children’s Hospital.

“I also was really disappointed that the report published yesterday, by auditors PwC, as good as ruled out 85% of costs, because the contracts are already agreed. Contracts are regularly renegotiated. Designs are regularly changed. And the report contains no analysis of the cost and time implications of a different site – something the Dáil voted overwhelmingly to have included in the PWC report”, concluded Donnelly.