Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher TD has welcomed the conclusion of the independent review panel that the site adjacent to the Mater Hospital on Eccles Street in Dublin is the best location for the new National Paediatric Hospital.  This is a significant endorsement of the decision taken by the Fianna Fáil-led government following the publication of the McKinsey ‘Children’s Health First’ report.

Deputy Kelleher said: “The news this evening that an independent panel of experts appointed by the Minister for Health has endorsed the Mater Hospital site as the best location for the new national children’s hospital is a welcome development and should be immediately endorsed this week by the Cabinet, clearing the way for progress to be made on this critical project.”

“Almost €30m has already been spent on designing the new hospital which is due to be operational in 2015.  I am deeply concerned that this timeframe, which was ambitious in the first instance, may not be met.  It is essential now that all those involved in the project along with Minister Reilly and the entire Cabinet endorse the finding of this review and move the project along.”

“The construction of a state-of-the-art National Paediatric Hospital is essential to the future healthcare of all children.  I understand the project has also received a favourable response to its application to be considered under the Strategic Infrastructure legislation.  If that is in fact the case, the publication of this review and its endorsement by Cabinet will clear the way for a formal planning application to An Bord Pleanála.”

“Subject to planning permission being granted, construction of the new hospital is scheduled to start before the end of this year with completion due at the end of 2014 and the hospital then becoming operational in 2015.”

“The children of Ireland and their families need access to the best possible healthcare.  This can be delivered through the new national children’s hospital at the Mater.  I look forward to a positive announcement in this regard being made by the Minister this week,” concluded Deputy Kelleher.