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Hospital joy as new unit for children saved

FUNDING has been ringfenced for a new paediatric urgent care centre at Tallaght Hospital.

Fears that money would not be provided for the centre mounted after it wasn't mentioned in the Government's spending plans up to 2016, but the Herald has learned that its exclusion was an oversight.

The money needed has been budgeted for within the funds allocated for the National Paediatric Hospital that will be built in the grounds of the Mater Hospital.

As part of the plans for the development of a national children's hospital it was recommended that it would be backed up by a network of ambulatory and urgent care centres at a selection of locations around Dublin. However, a report on the development of the new national children's hospital at the Mater site has recommended that a network of ambulatory and urgent care centres be set up in Dublin to back up the service provided at the Mater.

Dublin South West TD Charlie O'Connor admitted to the Herald today that there "has been much disquiet and confusion in Tallaght around the Paediatric Urgent Care Centre to be built at Tallaght Hospital".

Allay

He said this was down to the fact that it wasn't listed on the Government's Infrastructural Investment Priorities up to 2016 but that he has now received a personal commitment that the project will go-ahead in the original timeframe. "While funding is not listed in the projects outlined, funding has been committed to the National Paediatric Hospital which is expected to cost €700m," he said.

A top ranking official within the HSE has confirmed to the TD that funding for the Urgent Care Centre at Tallaght Hospital is included in this funding for the new hospital to be built at the site of the Mater.

"I hope this will allay the fears of many people over this particular issue," the Fianna Fail TD said.

"While I understand the anxiety of parents, and I have my own views on the location, I do believe the hospital will provide state-of-the-art care for children including those in my constituency."

kdoyle@herald.ie


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