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The Fiasco of the Childens Hospital: And so once again there is no one to blame and no one to take the responsibility but let’s
have three inquiries, costing time and money, to find out what went wrong and then we can carry on regardless. What am I talking
about? The Children’s hospital of course.
The protracted period of time before the decision on where to locate the hospital was costly enough and even then they got it
wrong. Which vested interest was served by placing it in the Centre of a city, which is for the most part grid-locked every day? Who
signed a contract for the building without knowing exactly how much it would cost? Who designed a modern public building without
a sprinkler system, only to have it added at a huge cost later. Who signed the contract and who passed the building as Fire-proof
and safe for those who would use it and work in it if sprinklers had to be added?
We are told that the original figure for a Childrens Hospital agreed by Government was €450 million. When consultants and experts
were paid to advise it added another €131million. When changes were made to the design and omissions in the original plans were
included another few hundred million was added to bring it to €950million and then with other additions the cost rose to an
unacceptable €1.45billion and now we hear that the final cost, agreed by Government, will be €1.7 billion. A friend, who seems to
know what is going on, has told me that it will not finish at even €2billion and there is the possibility that either the plans will have
to be scaled back or the hospital remain unfinished. Annoyingly we are also told that the Government and Department of Health
knew that it would cost €1.7 million a long time before it became public knowledge. Does this mean they were keeping it quiet so
as to get the best time to let the cat out of the bag.
So where is this extra money going to come from – well the HSE will have to scale back on what it can do for the next two years at
least, which means many other buildings and services, which are badly needed, will have to be abandoned to redirect the money to
the Hospital. Not only Health money but Education and other Departments will have to reduce their capital spending to give the
savings to Health. It also reduces the amount available to open extra beds, employ more nurses and doctors and to cut the
numbers on waiting lists. What a mess and no one responsible! and now I am reliably informed that the final figure, if they
complete the hospital as planned, will cross the €3billion mark