Tuesday 22 August 2017

Sara Burke: Why do we get major health infrastructure projects so wrong?

An artist's impression of a room in the new National Children's Hospital to be built beside St James's Hospital in Dublin
An artist's impression of a room in the new National Children's Hospital to be built beside St James's Hospital in Dublin
Sara Burke

Sara Burke

It is good news that the National Children's Hospital has got the go-ahead to be built. Construction is due to start this summer, and they say it will be open by 2020. At long last.

This hospital was first proposed more than 20 years ago. After much politics and power playing between the three existing children's hospitals, and wrangling over the best place to locate the hospital, the Government endorsed the Mater hospital as the site in 2006. The hospital was meant to be open by 2014.

But in 2012, planning permission on the Mater site was refused by An Bord Pleanála on the basis that it would constitute "overdevelopment". It was back to the drawing board, and in 2014, the St James's Hospital site was chosen. Yesterday, planning permission was granted at this location.

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