| 8.1°C Dublin

Sick children 'neglected' in Dublin boom

CHILDREN'S cardiology consultant Dr Orla Franklin said it was shameful that masses of one-bedroom apartments were built in the boom, but facilities for sick children were neglected.

Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin has begun a public appeal for private funds to help construct a new cardiac ward.

The outdated facilities have barely been upgraded since the 1960s, when the whole model of care for children with heart problems was very different.

Dr Franklin said that, at that time, there was little hope for these children, so the facilities were basic.

But Dublin now has world-class treatment and specialists available for sick children.

However, the crumbling building is letting down the medical profession and cramped conditions are impeding doctors' work.

The paediatric cardiologist slammed the government's failure to provide funding: "We are incredibly disappointed at the lack of funds. It's not just this government; the last one, too.

"We have gone down this private funding route only after we had support withdrawn."

Dr Franklin said she returned from eight years at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to find no improvement in Dublin.

"I came back at the end of an unprecedented time of affluence to find that Crumlin hadn't changed at all," she said. "It is a terrible indictment of the kind of bad planning that went on during the boom years. It in no way benefitted sick children."

The outspoken consultant said that the Crumlin fundraisers are confident that they will reach a significant milestone in their attempt to raise €6m to build a new cardiac unit, which is desperately needed.

The consultant praised the response from the public to their appeal.

"It has received no government support. So these fundraisers are allowing us to realise a dream. It is certainly humbling," she said.