Locating children’s hospital at St James’s site ‘misguided’
Dear Editor, I write in relation to the misguided political decision to build the new National Children’s Hospital at the St James’s Hospital site.
Over 55,000 people from all areas of the country have signed a petition requesting that the Taoiseach review the decision and build it on the Connolly Hospital site beside the M50 instead. Furthermore, a Red C Poll conducted in recent days, found that 73% of people think that the St James’s Hospital is the wrong site for the new National Children’s Hospital.
The people’s views have clearly been heard at local level and in 18 counties throughout the country local councillors have agreed a motion calling on the Minister for Health to change the location of the National Children’s Hospital to the Connolly Hospital site.
Unfortunately our local county council held a debate on the issue last week and failed to agree the same motion, despite the fact that patients from Wicklow, having lost Loughlinstown Hospital, will now be expected to travel into the inner city with their sick children for all tertiary care. In fact, seven of our councillors didn’t show up for the vote and seven others, although present, didn’t consider the matter important enough to cast a vote at all, and abstained!
The question now is whether the people will be listened to. The advantages of the Connolly Hospital site for the location of the new National Children’s Hospital are obvious: easy access for children from all over the country; 145 acres of space for future expansion and the construction of a co-located maternity hospital as well as for limitless parking; faster construction time – the site at St. James’s has to be cleared of 13 functioning hospital departments and a major city sewer prior to the start of construction – the 145 acres at Connolly, on the other hand, are greenfield and involve no demolition or remedial engineering works. The absence of preparatory site work and faster time scale at the Connolly site would result in a saving of approx.€200 million – enough to cover the cost of the maternity hospital.
The decision to build the new National Children’s Hospital on the St James’s site makes as little sense as did the decision to build it on the Mater site – the people see this clearly – why can’t our new Minister for Health from Wicklow? Yours sincerely, P. Kavanagh,
‘Edenside’, Dunbur Road,