National children’s hospital:

  • Instead of pushing ahead with Mater site, full public review needed
  • Secondary children’s hospitals must be maintained

Paul Murphy MEP (Socialist Party / United Left Alliance):

An Bord Pleanala’s refusal to give planning permission to the proposed National Children’s Hospital on the Mater site underlines the inappropriate nature of that site as we pointed out in the submission that we made. Instead of pushing ahead with the site, as the government seems to intend to do, it must now recognise this reality. A full public review is needed, with representatives of community organisations campaigning on children’s health issues and the INMO and IMO to consider the best possible location for a tertiary national children’s hospital.

Regardless of where the tertiary national children’s hospital is located, its development should not entail the downgrading or closure of secondary children’s hospitals. While there is a case to centralise tertiary activities in a certain hospital, the way to deliver the best possible care for children is to further develop the secondary hospitals at the same time as developing a true ‘centre of excellence’ tertiary hospital.

Mick Murphy, Socialist Party representative in Dublin South West and activist in the Tallaght Hospital Action Group commented:

All the talk since the decision was announced is that the HSE will look at building a smaller hospital at the Mater. In the Socialist Party submission to An Bord Pleanala, we explained that the Hospital being applied for was too small at 445 beds as against what was set out in the very authoritative McKinsey report which gave 621 as being the size needed. The hospital they applied for was already too small and made so in order to suit the site. The only way they could fit a big enough hospital on that site and not destroy the City skyline would be to dig a very big hole. Someone should take the shovel off them, because they have already dug themselves into a big enough hole.