Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has called on the Minister for Health to bring renewed focus to the Children’s Hospital project at St James’ Hospital. His call came as campaigners for alternative sites move to step up lobbying for the project to move sites once again.

Deputy Kelleher commented, “In this Government’s long list of failures on health, the frustrating pace on progress on the Children’s Hospital is very prominent. The decision was taken to locate the hospital at St James’ Hospital, but the lack of progress has created space for campaigners for other sites to begin lobbying for another change.

“The debate has taken place and the decision was made to build at St James’ Hospital.  What we need to see now is the Health Minister showing a bit of leadership and taking ownership of the project.

“The country has been promised a National Children’s Hospital and we clearly need one. The ongoing delays and predictions of vast cost overruns creates a growing sense of frustration and anger. The Minister needs to invest much more energy and focus than we’ve seen to date.

“If we don’t see progress, we will see lobbyists for different sites ramping up their campaigns, trying to build momentum, the project will be further delayed, costs will continue to increase and question marks will grow about whether the hospital will be built at all. That would represent a massive failure of public policy,” concluded Kelleher.