Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health

Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion
Quarterly Update on Health Issues: Discussion

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Senator Colm Burke talks about the overturn. I need to refer to it as a projected overrun because we have just asked PwC to come back to how we can rein in the costs. I want members and, most importantly, taxpayers, to know that trying to rein the costs is now what needs to happen. That is why I have asked Mr. Fred Barry, with his expertise, to take up a role. It is also why I have amended the terms of reference and asked PwC to look at how we can mitigate costs. It is also why I stated at this committee, for the first time publicly, that issues such as what future role Crumlin hospital can play in terms of resources for this project must be considered and examined. I suppose the benefit of the GMP two-stage process is that the overrun becomes apparent before it happens, whereas generally in procurement, we hear about it afterwards and all bemoan the fact. We know about this now. There is no overrun today. There is a projected overrun. What are we going to do? It is an important point that we try to grapple with together.

I understand, and know well, Senator Colm Burke's interest in health in general and in the elective-only hospitals in particular, as well as the fact that the Cork region lacks an adequate number of beds per head of population. I am sure the Senator will not mind me making the point that when we talk about the national children's hospital, it is not a project for Dublin.


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