Children's hospital to open in 2016
THE new national children's hospital will go ahead and is due to open by 2016, Health Minister Dr James Reilly said yesterday.
The 445-bed hospital has yet to get planning permission. The hope is that construction will start in 2013.
However, while the necessary government funding will be provided for the facility, to be built on the Mater Hospital campus in Dublin, the total cost is still unknown.
"To give costings at this stage would be unwise because tenders have still to come in," the minister said.
The last government estimated it would cost €650m, with €200m of this coming from different sources including charitable donations.
The Government revealed yesterday it hopes to get a large amount of money upfront by selling the National Lottery licence.
However, it is unlikely to get enough money to completely fund the hospital, experts believe. But it is possible it will attract private investors to help to fund and finish it through other means.
The licence, which could be issued for 25 years, is an innovative way of raising money and a means to get important infrastructure built, Michael Flynn of Deloitte said last night.
"This thinking is to be welcomed. It is not just looking to get money in to put towards the national debt, but is ring-fencing it for projects that need to be done," he said.
Some experts have claimed the sale of the lottery licence could generate somewhere between €400m and €600m.
Last year the lottery gave the Government €250m and had sales worth over €770m.