21 February 2017

Labour spokesperson on Health, Alan Kelly TD, says a full explanation is needed as to why the price tag for the new National Maternity Hospital in Dublin has almost doubled.

It is reported today that the expected cost of moving the facility from Holles Street to St Vincent’s has risen from €150m to €296m.

Deputy Kelly commented:

“Yet again we are being confronted by headlines on the rising costs of capital projects in our health service. This time the National Maternity Hospital is in the spotlight, which after being delayed for nearly two years in a management row, we are now learning the projected cost has nearly doubled.

“It makes no sense that when originally budgeting for the hospital, the Health Minister of the day didn’t factor in the cost of co-locating the hospitals, as a greenfield site was never an option.

“This comes hot on the heels of revelations earlier this month that the projected costs of the Children’s Hospital have increased to a billion euro in the space of two years, which I warned would have a serious impact on other capital projects such as the new National Maternity Hospital, as well as new Emergency Departments and increasing bed capacity across the country.

“The HSE now has a gaping hole in it’s long term budget plans, for both current and capital expenditure with €750 million of expected savings over the next few years from generic biologic drugs not materialising, and a bill of over €350 million from the consultants contract.

“Adding up all these figures shows that there are serious financial storms ahead for our health service that the Minister must address.

“What we need now is an explanation as to how these costs have spiralled and how the HSE is planning to pay for them.”

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