Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said it is vital that the parents of chronically sick children who campaigned against locating the National Children’s Hospital at the St James site are not ignored for a second time. Deputy McGrath was speaking ahead of a briefing he has organised on behalf of the Connolly For Kids campaign group which will take place in Leinster House tomorrow at 1pm:
“Hopefully this time round people will have learnt that the perspective originally offered by these parents was the correct one and that it should have been listened to more closely.
Alongside the parents we will have Dr Jimmy Sheehan and Consultant Paediatricians Dr Fin Breathnach and Roisin Healy as well as representatives from the Jack&Jill Foundation.
We will also be discussing the Motion put forward by myself and my colleagues in the Rural Independent Group in March 2017, which made it explicitly clear that the creation of a site at St. James’s Hospital would prove prohibitively expensive.
We also argued in 2017 that due to the restricted nature of the proposed St. James’s Hospital site, parking provision for the National Children’s Hospital was going to be dramatically lower and hugely more expensive than that of international comparator hospitals.
This has all come to pass.
We need absolute clarity about the cost-benefit analysis that was carried out on all aspects of the National Children’s Hospital project, and which was required by the Department of Finance’s Guidelines for the Appraisal and Management of Capital Expenditure Proposals in the Public Sector.
At the time we also put forward the idea that we could utilise any site preparation work already started at St. James’s to develop a satellite Children’s Urgent Care Centre and further adult services.
That also needs to be reconsidered in light of where we are at now,” concluded Deputy McGrath.