Fine Gael National Press Office
Press Statement by Jerry Buttimer TD
Cork South Central
Tuesday, 6th November 2012
Fine Gael Cork South Central Deputy and Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Jerry Buttimer, has welcomed the decision taken by Government today (Tuesday) that the new National Children’s Hospital is to be built at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin’s city centre.
Deputy Buttimer went on to say that now that a definitive decision has been taken, the focus can now turn to putting the project out to tender so that a world class facility can be delivered for the sick children of Ireland.
“The decision to site the new National Children’s Hospital at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, and the huge amount of work that has gone into coming to this decision, is to be welcomed as it is the first step in building a state of the art hospital for the children of Ireland. Realistically speaking, however, today’s decision represents the very beginning of the process which should see the new paediatric facility completed by the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018.
“The decision that was taken was consistent with the advice given in the Dolphin Report and Dr. Frank Dolphin and the expert team are to be commended for their hard work and efforts in examining possible site locations. In choosing St. James’s Hospital, clinical considerations were placed top of the list. St. James’s is at the cutting edge of service delivery and demonstrates the best model of care for this project.
“St. James’s also meets the tri-location requirements of a children’s hospital, an adult teaching hospital and a maternity hospital on site or within close proximity. The further reconfiguration and development of St. James’s for this project will also contribute significantly to the economic and social development of this city centre area.
“St. James’s is very well served by public transport, having access as it does to four bus routes and the Luas, which runs directly to Heuston Station and onto Connolly Station.
“We have a fantastic opportunity here to create a paediatric hospital for the sick children of Ireland that will be the envy of all other countries. Despite the fact that €39 million has already been spend on initial plans for the Mater Hospital, a large portion of the work carried out to date will be transferable to St. James’s with an estimated €13 million of the original spend being reused.
“This Government has put children front and centre of policy making. We have, for the first time ever, put a dedicated Minister for Children in place. We are overhauling child protection legislation and the way in which we deliver child and family supports. We are also asking people to come out to vote next Saturday in the Children’s Referendum, which if passed will give children explicit rights in our Constitution. Added to this, today’s decision will ensure that the sick children of Ireland are cared for in the best possible environment. I look forward to seeing the project delivered down the line.”