Lo­cat­ing chil­dren’s hospi­tal at St James’s site ‘mis­guided’

Bray People - - INTERVIEW -

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,

Wick­low.

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