Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher, while welcoming final Government approval for the National Children’s Hospital, has said that no further delays or increases in the overall cost of the project will be tolerated.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting after the Minister for Health proposed at a meeting of the Government today that approval be given to proceed with the project at the St. James’ Hospital site.

“Today, at last, we have final confirmation and approval from the Government. This much needed piece of national health infrastructure has been too long in the making, and it is now time to proceed with haste to deliver it as quickly as possible, and in as cost effective way as possible.

“It’s now clear that it will be at least five years before the hospital is in a position to treat patients. We were originally promised a hospital by early 2018, but with an expected 2021 opening, we cannot have any further delays.

“Budgets must be strictly controlled and there cannot be any further increases in the overall budget.

“Sick children, and their families, across Ireland need this project to be delivered. It’s now up to the Department of Health, the HSE, and the developers to deliver a state of the art facility for the children of Ireland.

“This is a significant investment by the State, but an investment that will transform the provision of paediatric care in Ireland for generations to come. For that reason, I believe that all stakeholders should now work together and deliver the best possible facility,” concluded Kelleher.