Mary Lou McDonald to Tánaiste: When will the children's hospital be built?
Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD today challenged Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald regarding the out of control costs of building the national children's hospital.
Deputy McDonald urged the Tanaiste to allay the fears of parents across Ireland by stating when the hospital will be built.
She criticised the evasive responses received from Tánaiste as further evidence of the government's "neglect" of the health service.
"This morning parents read with horror the fact that the situation has spun far out of control. The current estimated cost has ballooned from an initial €404 million in 2012 to a mind-boggling figure of over €1 billion today.
"As it stands, Ireland’s national children’s hospital will be the most expensive children’s hospital to be built anywhere in the world.
"This infuriating saga is now a sorry tale of bungles, incompetence and broken promises stretching across two decades.
"In that time, we have seen both Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael led governments make big announcements to the Irish people, but those same governments have delivered very little.
"Today, twenty-four years after the idea was first proposed in 1993, the national children’s hospital is still a project wrapped up in uncertainty and chaos.
"How can we expect anything else from a government whose entire approach to healthcare is based on fostering crisis, havoc, and confusion?
"The abject failure to get a handle on the astronomical costs of the children’s hospital, and allay the fears of parents, is proof positive that Fine Gael and this government is utterly bereft of leaders.
"I asked two simple questions of Frances Fitzgerald.
"What is this government going to do about the spiralling costs?
"When will the hospital be built?"
"The Tanaiste's evasive responses will not quell the alarm of parents whose children are waiting in agony for vital treatment and surgeries. Her replies, if anything, will only exacerbate those fears.
"The government's management of the national children's hospital is unfolding into yet another shambles as it continues its neglect of the health service."