Construction on long awaited children's hospital to begin 'within weeks'
The national children’s hospital, which was given the final green light by the Cabinet today, will be open by 2021.
After first being mooted almost a decade ago, construction on the facility can finally start “within weeks.”
Builders are expected to soon begin work on the site at St James’s Hospital to lay the foundations of the €1.07bn hospital.
Some €1.004bn is coming from the Exchequer -made up of €916m exchequer capital and €88m for ICT.
But €67m will have to be found from fund raising and commercial sources through car parking and retail outlets.
Health Minister Simon Harris said the contracts to build the hospital, as well as two satellite centres in Connolly Hospital and Tallaght Hospital, has been already awarded which means “the project can proceed without delay".
“Today is a huge step forward for the children’s hospital project, ending years of doubt as to whether it would ever be built. Today, there is no more doubt," he said.
“Our children have waited a long time for this new hospital but there is light at the end of the tunnel now.
“Site clearance work, which began last year, is almost complete and so we’ll start building works in the next few weeks.
"I anticipate that the new hospital, which will serve all of the children of all Ireland, will open in 2021, with the two outpatient and urgent care centres at Tallaght and Connolly opening well in advance at the end 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.”
The hospital will offer all single rooms, en-suite as well as in-room parent accommodation.
It will include:
- 300 generic inpatient rooms
- 60 critical care inpatient rooms incorporating paediatric intensive care/high dependency and neonatology intensive care/high dependency
- 20 child and adolescent mental health beds (incorporating eating disorders and acute Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Announcing the news project director of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, John Pollock, defended the hefty price tag attached to the hospital.
“Cost experts, Linesight have conducted international benchmarking exercises and they have demonstrated that the construction cost of the hospital compares favourably with hospitals recently built in the UK, the US and in the Middle East," he said.