Thursday 19 September 2019

Varadkar accuses Opposition of 'political scaremongering' over rising Children's Hospital cost

Leo Varadkar. Picture: Damien Eagers
Leo Varadkar. Picture: Damien Eagers
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has accused the Opposition of "political scaremongering" over the escalating cost of the National Children's Hospital (NCH).

He hit out at rival politicians claims that other projects in the health service  are threatened or delayed by the project where costs have spiraled to around €1.7bn.

Mr Varadkar was speaking in the National Rehabilitation Hospital at the launch of the HSE's €2.1bn capital spending plan for the next three years.

Critics have said many of the projects that feature have already been announced.

Mr Varadkar said the capital plan is more important this year given the issues that arose with the NCH.

And he hit out at the Opposition claiming they had been engaged in "political scaremongering" about the risks to other projects and spending in the health service.

He claimed such arguments are "totally fake" and "made up".

He said that €230m is being spent on the NCH this year, which is 1.3pc of the health budget and 0.4pc of overall government spending.

He said it's "certainly not a good thing" that the NCH is over budget but added that there's still "plenty of money for projects around the country." 

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