Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health, Stephen Donnelly, has claimed the chronic mismanagement of the new National Children’s Hospital has led to fears that the Coombe Maternity Hospital move won’t go ahead. Deputy Donnelly was speaking in Dáil Éireann as TD’s made late night statements on the NCH on Wednesday, following the publication of the PwC report into its two billion Euro price-tag.
He explained, “The public’s faith has been shaken by what it has seen here. We’ve already witnessed reckless spending and complete incompetence when it comes to children’s welfare. And now we’re watching women’s health take a backseat, as plans to relocate the Coombe Maternity Hospital onto the grounds of the new NCH have stalled.
“Back in 2015 then Minister for Health Leo Varadkar told us that the planning and design, for both hospitals, would happen at the same time. Just a few weeks ago, I received an official reply from Minister Harris stating that no work on relocating the Coombe had commenced so far. Then last week, the Minister further confirmed that there is no funding allocated in 2019 to even begin the move.
“The proximity of a maternity hospital was a major selling point in the choice of the site at St James’ in Dublin City Centre for the new National Children’s Hospital. It seriously undermines the hospital when we’re forced to question if that move will go ahead; but worse than that it also forces us to question the Government’s attitude towards maternity care. The whole country has spent that past week listening to pregnant women’s hospital horror stories on RTE’s Liveline. We owe it to them to prove that they, and their healthcare, are a priority and not an afterthought”, concluded Deputy Donnelly.