New facility unlikely to open before 2019
Plans for a flagship new children’s hospital in Dublin have stalled yet again, with the long-awaited facility unlikely to open before 2019 ‘at the earliest’.
The specialist unit was intended to open in 2016, but the tender has not yet been completed.
The hospital will be built at the existing St James’s Hospital in Dublin at a cost of around €600m, which will be funded mostly by Government.
The latest delay comes after Minister for Health, James Reilly, announced he was replacing the outgoing National Paediatric Hospital Development Board with a group of senior officials from his department. He will then appoint a programme manager and a project manager who will oversee construction. These are likely to be in place by Christmas, after which planning permission for the development will be sought. If permission is granted, the site will be cleared for work to start in 2015.
Much of 2015 is likely to be taken up searching for a contractor, so the hospital will not open until at least 2019 or, more probable, at the end of 2020.
Once built, the three existing children’s hospitals at Temple Street, Cumlin and Tallaght will be merged.