Wednesday 19 June 2019

Cost of new children’s hospital spiralled by 400m euro, Dail told

The National Children’s Hospital under construction at St James’s in Dublin will replace three older hospitals.

Plans for the new children’s hospital in Dublin (Children’s Hospital Group)
Plans for the new children’s hospital in Dublin (Children’s Hospital Group)

By Rebecca Black, Press Association

Increased construction expenses have been blamed for a rise in the projected cost of a major new children’s hospital in Ireland.

The National Children’s Hospital is currently under construction at St James’s in Dublin.

It is set to replace three older hospitals in the city – Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, and the National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght.

The new hospital was initially projected to cost 650 million euro, but that figure had increased to an expected 1 billion euro by April 2017.

There had been speculation that costs have increased further.

Responding to questions from Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar confirmed the current project cost is 1.433 billion euro.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the new facility would be one of the best children’s hospitals in the world (Tom Honan/PA)

Mr Martin urged Mr Varadkar to explain the increase during Taoiseach’s Questions on Tuesday.

In response, Mr Varadkar revealed that increased construction costs made up most of the additional 400 million euro.

“This morning Cabinet met and discussed the issue, discussed the escalating costs. We agreed to accept the new overall cost which is 1.433 billion euro – that represents a 450 million euro increase on what we had projected in April 2017,” Mr Varadkar said.

“Of that, 319 million is made up of increased construction costs, 50 million is VAT and the remainder relates to staff planning, design teams, risk contingency and also the management equipment service to make sure the hospital is properly equipped.

“There will be further investigations as to how these costs escalated by so much since April last year.”

Mr Varadkar described the project as the “biggest single investment in healthcare” in Irish history.

“It allows three rather old hospitals – Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght – to be replaced by a new state-of-the-art hospital,” he said.

“This is going from every antiquated old infrastructure, that is not up to standard, to what will be one of the best children’s hospitals in the world.”

Press Association

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