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City's maternity hospitals will get cash to move

Dublin's three maternity hospitals will be able to move to new locations as planned -- despite the economic downturn.

There had been fears that a freeze in the Health Service Executive's capital budget could have an impact on the plans.

However, HSE chief executive Brendan Drumm said he was confident that the hospitals would be able to move as planned, in the next five to seven years.

The Coombe Women's Hospital is due to move to the site of Tallaght Hospital, the Rotunda Hospital to the site of the Mater Hospital, while the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, is due to move to the St Vincent's University Hospital site.

Professor Drumm said that the HSE was freeing up existing costs which would help provide the funding needed.

He added that the HSE felt that the Coombe's move could be advanced quickly, according to the Irish Medical News.

However the maternity hospitals have argued previously that they require additional funding now, pending their move to new modern facilities.

The budgets of the maternity hospitals have been cut this year, despite the fact that they are are having to deal with increasing numbers of births.

In the first nine months of 2009, the Coombe experienced a 4pc rise. The Rotunda's birth numbers were up by 2pc and the National Maternity Hospital's newborns were up by 0.5pc.

And, according to HSE estimates, by the end of this year, 75,728 children will have been born in Ireland.


Meanwhile, top businessman Harry Crosbie has told how he is enjoying his work on the board of the new children's hospital. He was one of eight people appointed by Health Minister Mary Harney in May 2007 to the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.

He said that the board was doing a huge amount of work to bring "the world's best children's hospital" to a lovely site on the Mater. The new €750m 399-bed hospital is due to open its doors in 2014.