Welcome to what will probably be the most expensive hospital ever built.

Welcome to what will probably be the most expensive hospital ever built.

At over €2.5 billion and counting, the new National Children’s Hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus in Dublin has been delayed by years and dogged by controversy.

The project has become a political and financial nightmare. The new hospital is due to be finished late next year but will then have to be fitted out and that will take about six more months. So it seems likely that it will be sometime in 2025 when it finally opens.

It will be a fine State of the Art Children’s Hospital and is due to be a paperless facility. It brings together the three existing children’s hospitals in Dublin and will have 380 individual rooms for children, with facilities for parents to stay overnight if needed.

But the cost is eye watering and no one can truly say what the final bill will be. The legal battles between the body responsible for delivering the facility and the builders over extra costs continue.

Lessons need to be learned from this project to avoid wasting scarce health funding, which could otherwise go towards cutting waiting lists, upgrading facilities in other hospitals and replacing older medical equipment.