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Patients badly-needed new facilities

Patients badly-needed new facilities

Why is it that in Ireland, there are such massive problems and delays in building new public hospital projects?

There has been no new major acute hospital built in Ireland in over 30 years, if one excludes the €75 m Cork University Maternity Hospital which opened in 2007.

Before that, the last new acute hospital was Tallaght Hospital which opened in 1998, after years of delays and controversy.

Technically it was not a new hospital, as it was an amalgamation of three other hospitals, the Adelaide and Meath hospitals and the National Children’s Hospital.

Some Emergency Departments around the country have been upgraded and extra wings added in some places, and there are new day hospitals for children, but we have not seen a new major acute hospital built adding extra beds to the overall public system.

This is contributing to the overall capacity problems.

Three new elective-only hospitals are promised for Cork, Galway and Dublin but not one brick has been laid for any of these yet.

And of course, we have the ongoing controversy over the building of the new National Maternity Hospital on the St Vincent’s Campus in Dublin.

It had been hoped that facility would be open by 2018. Not a chance.

Also the new National Paediatric Hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus in Dublin was delayed by years due to controversy over the best location.

That project is likely to cost north of over €2 billion by the time it opens in a few years.

It is a staggering amount of public money.

It seems that in Ireland, unlike many other countries, it is near impossible to deliver a new hospital on time and within budget, without political, local and funding controversy.

It means the ultimate losers are patients, waiting for badly-needed new facilities.