Harney must respond to Temple St doctors' concerns

30 January 2006

by Cllr Joe Costello

Health Minister Mary Harney must respond urgently and positively to a letter from consultants in Temple St who expressed concern over the decision by the HSE to long-finger the proposed redevelopment of the hospital, local Labour TD Joe Costello, has said. The project went to tender in December 2005 with building due to commence in spring of this year. The tenders are now waiting to be opened but cannot be, because of the Government decision. The plan has been painstakingly prepared over the past six years. It is completely designed, has full planning permission and has ring-fenced funding. “The money for this project has already been made available under the National Development Plan. The fact that it has been halted at the eleventh hour is infuriating and frustrating for staff and patients alike,” said Deputy Costello. “We need clarity on this and we can’t wait around for yet another review for this project to get under way.” “These delays are being opposed in the most vigorous terms by senior consultants in Temple St, local representatives, families, and members of the public across Dublin’s Northside. “Doctors are against the review and look on it merely as a cynical stalling tactic to allow the HSE look at alternative sites. Families throughout the Northside of Dublin will be appalled at the prospect of the project not proceeding.” “If the HSE is going to pull the plug on the current plan then the Tanaiste and Minister for Health, Mary Harney, and the Taoiseach in particular, given the hospital is in the heart of his constituency, have a duty to tell the public.” “Temple Street is one of the busiest children’s hospital in Europe, with the largest casualty section in either Britain or Ireland. However, it is in such a ramshackle state of disrepair that an alternative has to be constructed now.” “I intend raising this matter with both the Tanaiste and the Taoiseach in the Dail as a matter of urgency.”