Health minister 'very hopeful' new children's hospital will escape cuts
HEALTH minister Dr James Reilly said this morning that he is confident that the new national children's hospital will go ahead.
Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, Dr Reilly said "I don't wish to pre-empt what Minister Howlin has to say but I am very hopeful that this hospital will go ahead."
Public Expenditure minister Brendan Howlin is to announce later today how the government plans to make €750m cuts in next year's capital-spending plans.
The government is due to provide €450m of the €650m building costs for the hospital, which is being built on the Mater Hospital site in Dublin.
A planning application for the hospital development was recently submitted and construction is expected to begin next year with the first patient due to be treated towards the end of 2016.
The hospital will have 392 in-patient beds and 53 day care bed spaces and will include an emergency department, 13 operating theatres, research laboratories, a hospital school and restaurant and a family resource centre.