Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 29 January 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health
National Children's Hospital: Discussion (Resumed)
There is no evidence to back up the suggestion in the Deputy’s question. We must remember the reason the site was chosen, although I do not intend to reopen that debate. This is not about building a house or a block of apartments. We had to build the hospital in the location that would deliver the best medical outcomes.
I made the decision based on the clear advice available to me that this was about putting the hospital on the best possible site. Deputy Kelly was a Minister in a previous Government that also considered all of these matters. Co-locating it with an adult acute teaching hospital will provide a level of care and improved health outcomes that would not be possible on other sites. It is still being stated that the hospital should be built on a greenfield site. That ignores the fact that construction is under way and that we are trying to ensure we have a hospital that will improve the outcomes for children. Sick adolescents currently travel from Crumlin hospital to St. James’s Hospital to receive cancer care. It would very much miss the point if one did not try to co-locate those services on the St. James’s site. Ultimately, the hospitals will be tri-located with a maternity hospital on a state-of-the-art campus that can look after people from birth and right through life.