The decision of the Government to endorse the independent review of the Mater site as the best location for the new National Paediatric Hospital, and the Cabinet’s approval for the project to now proceed to the planning stage is very good news for parents and children all around the country.
This is a vital project and will greatly improve the delivery of critical and specialist care to them. Fianna Fáil has always been totally committed to seeing this project to fruition and I hope there can be a thorough and successful planning process in the coming months. As well as delivering first class health facilities for children this development will contribute greatly to the creation of a worldclass center for medical excellence in the North Inner City and bring vital employment opportunities for our area.
The target is to have the new National Children’s Hospital operational by 2015 and the funding for this project was protected in the four year plan announced by the previous Government. A strong commitment from Minister Reilly and this Government is essential if international philanthropic funds are to be sourced to support the development. I believe there will be an interest among private sources to help fund this project and that there is significant scope for the Government to reach out to businesses and industries where there is a significant involvement of the Irish Diaspora.
This project has been in the pipeline for many years and there have now been two independent international reviews of the decision to locate the site on the Mater Hospital campus. I hope that all those who have a vested interest in the success of this project can now come together and help ensure its success for all children and their families. The time for debating this issue is over, now all involved should work together to make it a reality, sooner rather than later.