Much needed local health projects may be under threat from Children’s Hospital cost overrun - Louise O'Reilly TD
Speaking at this morning’s Health Committee meeting Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD, challenged officials from the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive on the implications for existing projects as the health capital budget and other departmental budgets are to be affected.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The information relayed to the Health Committee this morning regarding the implications of the overrun at the new children’s hospital is a serious cause for concern for the public and the health service.
“The officials from Minister Harris’s department informed the committee that other capital health projects will be delayed, some will be changed, and others will be deferred in order to absorb the cost of this overrun.
“It is an absolute disgrace that the catastrophic failure of management in regards to the overrun and the spiralling costs at the children’s hospital will affect nearly every health capital project between now and 2022 as the capital budget has to absorb the cost of the overrun which has decreased the total health capital budget for projects by around 15% - €450m.
“The officials from the Department of Health stated that projects where no contractual agreement has been signed or agreed will be changed or deferred.
“These implications will be huge and their impact will be severe on the health services in many locations around the State, many which are in dire need of new wards, new hospitals, new labs, new elective only hospitals, and so on.
“However, the implications of this failure do not just affect health projects, the Department of Health informed the committee that an additional €50m required for the hospital in 2019 is to come from other departmental capital budgets.
“So we have a situation where this utter failure is affecting not only the health service, but countless other departments, possibly housing, education, justice, and others.
“This cannot be accepted and there needs to be an immediate full and public investigation into the cost overruns."