Contest heats up for children's hospital
THE Coombe maternity hospital claims that its proposal to build a "deluxe version" of a children's hospital in Dublin's south city will cost less than any rival bidders for the project, in a revised plan to be launched tomorrow.
The Coombe has revised the cost of its proposals down to €358m to build the hospital on a 20.5-acre site off the South Circular Road.
The master of the hospital, Dr Chris Fitzpatrick, admitted this weekend that the €358m figure did not include the estimated €60m costs of fitting out the hospital -- which would bring the costs to €420m.
In advance of launching his proposal, Dr Fitzpatrick, told the Sunday Independent: "We believe that it is the best site. In terms of cost, we can deliver it at a lower cost than any other comparable site."
He claimed that building a multi-storey -- rather than underground -- car-parking facility could shave off a further €20m.
The contest to win the bid for the hospital has stepped up in recent weeks, with a rush of hospitals and private developers publicising the merits of their various submissions.
A review group, chaired by Frank Dolphin, will present a shortlist to the Minister for Health, James Reilly, who will make the final call on the winning site.
The Mater -- regarded by some as the frontrunner - launched its revised proposals last Monday, promising to build an 11-storey children's hospital with an adjoining maternity hospital for €582m.
St James Hospital launched its bid on Friday and claimed to offer an "unparalleled" array of services for children on its site on Dublin's South Circular Road.