Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has welcomed today’s decision on the new National Paediatric Hospital and urged the Government to expedite the design, planning and development process.

Deputy Kelleher said: “Fianna Fáil has consistently maintained that a new national hospital for children and maternity care was essential to bring about world-class health care and best possible outcomes for children.  Unlike others we have never sought to score political points on an issue as serious as this.  I hope today’s decision brings an end to the relentless debate about where this new hospital is to be located and that there are no planning difficulties that arise with this new location.

“While I welcome today’s decision it is important now that the Government brings about clarity in relation to the funding that will be needed for the new site and the timeline by which the hospital will be delivered.  Children have waited long enough for a world-class healthcare facility and it should be delivered a matter of the utmost priority for Government.”

Deputy Kelleher added: “I will also be raising with Minister Reilly what plans he intends to put in place now to deal with the needs of the existing facilities in Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght given that the 2016 timeline for delivery of the new hospital is not now likely to be met.  This is an issue of major concern for parents and clinicians.  We will not accept any diminution of services currently available in these hospitals prior to the full operation of the new National Paediatric Hospital.”