Location, location, location

Andrew Donovan

St.James’s joins another three hospitals in the bid for the location of the new children’s hospital in Dublin.

St. James's Hospital, Dublin 8

Many people still see St. James’ Hospital as the best site for the new children’s hospital ahead of the soon-expected announcement of the final location.

Following the failed Coombe proposal in May of this year, St. James’ are including the maternity hospital site as one of the cornerstones of their bid.

St. James’ are part of the final four hospitals alongside the Mater, Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown and Belgrave Hospital in North Dublin.

Padraig McKeon of the Paediatric Hospital Development Board, who is responsible for constructing the chosen site, has quashed rumours that the St. James’ site would not be spacious enough to accommodate the new hospital, “no matter where the site is built it will be the same hospital offering the same number of services, costing the same money.”

Mr. McKeon said “It’s [the cost] irrelevant, this will be built with Government money no matter what the cost.  The Government at the moment have €450 million of seed money.”

Consultant Oncologist and chair of the medical board in St. James’ Dr. John Kennedy told Morning Ireland on October 9th of this year that “this project should really be about sick children and nothing else and with the Coombe within a km our proposal would be cheaper because it is not necessary to immediately build a new maternity hospital.

Dr. Kennedy believes St. James’ offers “the greatest opportunity to build a world class facility for our children over the next 50 years.”

Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin has pledged their support to St. James’ with Chairman of the Board Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

They said that “..the basic point is where are the best synergies available between a large general hospital, and the specific needs that would come up with a children’s hospital.”

“The best match for the needs of a children’s hospital, in the view of the board of Crumlin hospital, is in the combination that St James’ offers” he said.

Consultant Paediatric Haematologist at Crumlin, Dr. Aengus O’Marcaigh, said “St. James’ is a very well-run hospital and it can offer a maternity, an adults and a children’s hospital on the same site.  This works best when children have cardiac problems.  At the moment, day old babies are transferred to Crumlin to be operated on, so we would love to be able to treat them on the same site where they’re born.”

Dr O’Marcaigh stressed that no matter what site is chosen it would bring a welcome relief for the children of Ireland “we have been waiting far too long for this, the worst decision would be to keep things the way they are.”


Image Top Barry Lennon.

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