Dáil debates

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation


1:05 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I cannot speak for the Minister for Health but I am sure there was engagement. There was certainly engagement from my office with Children’s Health Ireland which manages the children's hospitals. The children's hospitals are particularly busy at the moment because of the respiratory syncytial virus, RSV. As we do not have single rooms in our very old children's hospitals, when a virus is rampant in one, there is significant demand and pressure on beds. In turn, beds have to be closed because of infection control. That will be very different with the new children's hospital. Every room in that hospital will be a single room. We will be able to deal with so many different infection control issues. There will even be rooms for parents to stay over.

As an interim measure, some additional beds are being opened over the winter period. It is only an interim solution, however. What we need is the new children's hospital. We needed it yesterday. It is a pity it was not built during the boom.


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