Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that the inability of the National Children’s Hospital’s Board to commit to a timeframe on completion of the project is “highly unnerving and concerning”, and that delays and cost overruns have turned this project into a mess.
Speaking today during a session of the Oireachtas Health Committee about the hospital, Teachta Cullinane said:
“To say this is a complex project with a unique contract is an understatement.
“The truth is that this is a mess – latest estimates are that it may run to €2.4bn.
“The Board has said it is not in a position to comment on the true and final cost. That is highly unnerving and concerning.
“Neither could the Board commit to a timeframe, except that it would not meet the timeframe agreed previously.
“The relationships between the Development Board and the contractor has soured to the point that the Board has examined the option of terminating the contract.
“This is a complete and absolute mess, and the real consequences here are for the children on years long waiting lists.
“This is an entirely unsatisfactory situation.
“This project is eating into the capital budget for Health, which will hurt the Health Service’s ability to deliver much needed capacity expansion projects across the state.
“The project was already running 6 months behind before the pandemic. It was scheduled to hand over to CHI in August 2022.
“When Leo Varadkar was Minister for Health, he said it would cost €700m and be complete by 2020.
“That clearly won’t happen, and the costs are already at least double that, and likely much higher.”