The Rural Independent Group has committed its next Private Members time slot to bringing forward a Motion calling on all members of the Dáil to urgently reconsider the proposed location of the National Children’s Hospital, currently designated for St James’ Hospital in Dublin.
The Group’s Motion is set to call on the government to forensically account for why it is continuing with the project despite no indication that mounting concerns around the exponential costs and access issues are being adequately addressed.
While acknowledging and fully supporting the commitments given in the Programme for Government to develop a world class National Children’s Hospital, the Rural Independent Group are set to argue that the assessment of the National Children’s Hospital Project at St James’ Hospital by An Bord Pleanála did not adequately address several important aspects relating to the medical functioning of the site.
The Group members have also indicated that due to the restricted nature of the proposed St James’ site, parking provision for the NCH is dramatically lower and hugely more expensive than that of international comparator hospitals.
Deputy Mattie McGrath, the Convenor of the Rural Independent Group, highlighted the fact that the priority for the Group was to see building commence on the NCH project in a site that would guarantee significantly improved clinical outcomes; a guarantee that cannot be obtained if the St James’ site remains the preferred option:
“The heart of this entire process has to be the welfare and medical care of sick children and their families.
It cannot be pushed ahead simply to accommodate the inability of government to politically acknowledge that it has made a catastrophic mistake that will impact generations of sick children.
Even at this late stage, we as a Group are pleading with the government and indeed all members to reflect on the evidence and listen to the thousands of families who oppose this site,” concluded Deputy McGrath.
NOTE: The Motion will be debated in Dáil Eireann on Wednesday March 29th at 4.45pm-6.45pm approx.