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Health Minister receives report on location for Children's Hospital

James Reilly said that he would now consider the report before bringing it to the government to make a decision on where the National Children’s Hospital should be located.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Health, James Reilly, has received the report of the review group established to assess the various options for the location of the National Children’s Hospital.

The report has been completed and passed to the Minister who said today that he will consider its contents before bringing recommendations to the Cabinet for a decision on where the hospital should be built.

“I made sure that the composition of this group had the expertise, calibre and independent minded approach needed to provide the Government with impartial expert opinion. I now look forward to considering the report and will be bringing it to Government shortly,” Reilly said today.

The review group, chaired by HSE chairman Frank Dolphin, was tasked with establishing the options now available to the government following An Bord Pleanála’s decision to refuse planning permission for the hospital on the site of the Mater Hospital in Dublin.

The group received over 30 offers of sites and met with 21 groups, representatives and professional bodies over the last ten weeks with assistance provided by the Department of Health, the HSE, the National Ambulance Service and the Office of Public Works.

Dolphin said: “Within our terms of reference our role was not to select a site; that is a matter for the Minister and the Government.

“With the combined clinical, technical, planning and managerial expertise on the Group, the options available have been thoroughly examined within our terms of reference.”

Proposals that have been made public in recent weeks include building the hospital at the site of the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, on a site near St James’s Hospital, on an area of land near the Phoenix Park, a location in Tallaght, and a greenfield site near Dublin Airport.

There has also been a proposal submitted for a revised development at the site of the Mater.

Dolphin said he and his colleagues on the review group would be available to brief the government on any aspects of the report should they be required.

Yesterday, the Fianna Fáil health spokesperson Billy Kelleher urged the government to bring “clarity” to the issue of the Children’s Hospital as soon as possible.

“Parents across the country want to see this project go ahead and built as a matter of urgency and to the highest standards.  We cannot afford for it to be dragged out indefinitely,” he said.

More on the National Children’s Hospital saga >

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Hugh O'Connell

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