Minister for Health can’t continue to be evasive on NCH overspend

29 January 2019

Following his questioning at today’s Health Committee, Labour Party Health spokesperson Alan Kelly TD, said that despite layers of oversight, it’s difficult to understand how the overspend of the National Children’s Hospital happened.

Deputy Kelly said:

Through Parliamentary Questions, I have sought to establish the layers of oversight around the building of the National Children’s Hospital. At today’s Health Committee, through my questions, it is clear that Minister Harris and his senior officials were operating in silos and their communications weren’t right.

“The Minister himself confirmed what we already knew, that he was first told of the overspend on August 27th 2018, yet when asked for an update vid Parliamentary Question on September 2019, couldn’t give an update on the status of the overspend.

“Minster Harris has been completely evasive when it comes to being upfront on this issue and I’m not sure if is because of complete incompetence or because he doesn’t want to front yet another political scandal in our health service.

“It is difficult to grasp that there was so many layers of oversight, yet this has been dealt with in such a cloak and dagger manner. We need more answers on who knew what and when, and I’ll continue to raise this issue at the Public Accounts Committee later this week.

“It’s clear now that the two-stage tendering didn’t work and has been a massive failure that will have knock on effects on projects right across the State.”

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