New children's hospital plan 'would save €140m'
A NATIONAL children's hospital could be built and opened on a site at St James's Hospital in Dublin by 2015 and at a cost of €140m less than the existing plan, it was claimed yesterday.
St James's yesterday said it could build a 140,000sqm specialist facility in just three years on a 6.3-hectare site, despite not having planning permission or a detailed design.
The claim came after the Mater published revised plans on Thursday, which will be six storeys lower than a building rejected by planners last February.
A review group has been established to consider the best possible site for the hospital, which is expected to report to Health Minister Dr James Reilly this month.
Yesterday St James's said it had identified a suitable site in its grounds in Dublin's south inner city, which could accommodate a children's hospital, maternity hospital, parent or guardian accommodation block and allow for future expansion.
The hospital said it was one of the best locations in the city, with a Luas line running through the campus, which is also close to Heuston Station and the M50.
It also points out that the facility could be built for €510m. The cost of building on the Mater site is expected to be in the region of €650m.
"Subject to planning, it is anticipated that the co-location of the National Paediatric Hospital can be effected by 2015," St James's said in a statement.
The hospital added that it would reveal its detailed proposal next week after it met the review group.