Harney still vague on €200m funds for hospital
HEALTH Minister Mary Harney remained vague yesterday on how an estimated €200m shortfall in funding for the €650m new National Children’s Hospital will be generated.
She was quizzed after the surprise resignation of Philip Lynch as chairman of the development board overseeing the hospital, which has yet to begin construction.
He has reportedly expressed concern at the need to raise around €200m of the funding needed from philanthropic and commercial sources.
Ms Harney said: “People were discussing very generous donations two or three years ago. I believe those commitments still stand.” She remained “optimistic” that the hospital would be built by the end of 2014.
The hospital will be built on the site of the Mater Hospital in Dublin, despite calls from a new pressure group to switch to another location. The New Children’s Hospital Alliance said the resignation of Mr Lynch should be a warning that the Mater location be reconsidered.
The development board will seek to allay public anxiety at a briefing in Dublin today.
Ms Harney refused to say if she had asked Mr Lynch to resign. She warned again that the cuts in the health service budget would be higher than the €600m already feared.
She was speaking at the announcement of a €900,000 investment by Covidien, the leading global supplier of healthcare products. The funds are being given to NUI Galway to develop medical technologies and development projects.