Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has criticised the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform over claims that the overspends in the National Children’s Hospital and the National Broadband Plan will not impact other projects. Deputy Murphy has warned that plans to develop a multi-million 20 bed medical rehabilitation unit at Roscommon University Hospital are subject to capital funding availability.

“I tabled PQs with the Minister for Health recently seeking an update on the medical rehab unit and I welcome the fact that a design team has been appointed. I understand that the design is currently progressing through Stage 1 and a pre- planning meeting has been held with Roscommon County Council. It is hoped that planning permission will be secured in 2020. However, the PQ reply from the Department of Health clearly outlines that the programme for completion of works on the medical rehabilitation unit at Roscommon University Hospital is subject to capital funding availability and unfortunately, we all know that the overspend on the National Children’s Hospital is having a direct impact on other health projects.

“In the past month the Irish Times reported that the National Children’s Hospital could cost as much as €2 billion. It has been reported that the Secretary General of DPER, Robert Watt, has indicated that between 2020 and 2022 at least €385 million extra will be required to complete the project. This cannot be wished out of thin air and it is a complete nonsense for the Minister to suggest that no projects will be impacted by the Children’s Hospital overspend.

“The Minister claims that every year other projects are delayed for non-Budget reasons and that the funding dedicated to those projects can then be redirected to the children’s hospital. Senior HSE officials disagree with Minister Donohoe’s contention saying that the overspend at the Children’s Hospital has made a very difficult situation almost impossible,” concluded Deputy Murphy.