Tuesday 23 July 2019

Increasing cost of new children's hospital may delay other health projects, Taoiseach warns

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Brussels. Picture: AFP/Getty
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Brussels. Picture: AFP/Getty
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

THE spiralling cost of building a new Children's Hospital will cause other health projects to be delayed, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has admitted.

Independent.ie revealed last week that the state-of-art development at St James's Hospital could now cost taxpayers €1.4bn - up from €1bn in just 18 months.

The increasing bill is causing alarm in government circles, with Mr Varadkar describing himself as "very concerned".

The Taoiseach visited the construction site of one of two satellite centres for the children's hospital today in Blanchardstown.

Speaking to reporters, he said there was always an expectation that costs on the main campus would rise as a result of construction inflation.

But he added: "The latest increase is way beyond what we had ever anticipated and the reality is, because of that, because of the additional money that we may need to find to cover that other projects will, as a consequence of that, be delayed and that’s a real shame.

“The consequence of running over budget with a project means that other projects get delayed and that is not a good position to be in," he said.

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