Children's hospitals to work together
The three existing children's hospitals will have to come together operationally from next year.
The move comes in advance of the three facilities in Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght merging in the €1bn National Children's Hospital, which is being constructed in the campus of St James's Hospital in Dublin.
Legislation to set up a new State body to run the National Children's Hospital will be unveiled by Health Minister Simon Harris today.
The new hospital will be ready by 2021. However, one of the biggest tasks will be getting the three hospitals, which currently run independently, to merge under the one roof.
The legislation will create a single entity with the aim of providing an effective governance structure to oversee the complex work of integrating the staff and services of three existing children's hospitals.
The minister says that it is essential the three existing hospitals come together operationally well in advance of the move to the new facilities and this should be in place by next year.
The agreement of the hospitals to merge is voluntary.