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New Children’s Hospital Is Not National

Childrens Hospital For Dublin

It seems, according to the news today, that the new National Children’s Hospital is to go ahead at the Mater University Hospital Campus, Eccles St. in Dublin 7. It beggar’s belief that this project that claims to be the new National Children’s Hospital to serve all of Ireland is going to be situated right in the centre of traffic-congested Dublin. What about the 3/4 of the population of Ireland that doesn’t live in Dublin that this hospital claims it will serve?

Well, that’s our tough luck, it seems.

The new Children’s Hospital Dublin-centric location is going to cause all sorts of problems for people living outside of the capital. A long transit time with a possible sick child would be a nightmare for parents to endure. Traffic congestion in Dublin would only add to a parent’s anxiety and then there is the parking issue. All these point’s combine to make a possible journey to the Children’s Hospital a nightmare of those people who do not live in Dublin.

It seems to me that the term ‘National’ in National Children’s Hospital is just a buzz-word, as it appears that there is nothing national about it. Indeed, their own website seems to have an identity crisis, it is called the New Childrens Hospital. Even on their homepage, I quote;

“there is unanimous agreement that there is an urgent need for capital investment in children’s healthcare infrastructure in Dublin.”

Hmmm, nothing about it serving the whole of Ireland then.

“The Children’s Hospital of Ireland will also include an ambulatory and urgent care centre at Tallaght which will provide out-patient, day-care and emergency care services primarily for families in the south-side of the city.”

Good news for Tallaght, but what about the rest of the country?

Hospital Location Controversy

The location of the National Children’s hospital was called into question by Philip Lynch in 2010 as chairman of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board. He proposed a different location for it on a green field site outside of the M50. This new location made a whole lot of sense at the time as it would have been;

  • substantially cheaper to build there
  • have good road and rail links
  • would better serve the whole country and not just Dublin.

However, he was summarily sacked for just proposing the idea. In March this year, Philip Lynch went on the radio to make the case that the proposed city centre location for the new hospital would be inaccessible and have severe parking difficulties. He described the proposed city centre location as a “cul-de-sac” and that the decision to locate the hospital in the city centre as “political” [link]. He further claimed that the city location was only chosen because;

“a deal was done on the [Mater] site….by an eminent politician”

So don’t believe the hype, the new National Children’s Hospital is not national at all.

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