Thursday 14 December 2017

New children's hospital 'will be clamper dream'

CLAMPERS will be the main beneficiaries of locating the new National Children's Hospital on the Mater campus, it is feared.

Traffic problems around the north inner city mean parking enforcement officers will have a field day, opponents to the plan told the Herald.

Tallaght Hospital Action Group (THAG) wants to see the proposals scrapped in favour of a project to locate the €650m unit in south Dublin.

But the influential Faculty of Paediatrics at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland supports the current plans.

Nevertheless, THAG chairwoman Triona Murphy told the Herald: "It seems to be very stupid spending that amount of money on a shiny new building when children cannot get proper care now." The group contends the hospital could be built on a bigger site and for a cheaper price in Tallaght.

Ms Murphy said Temple Street Children's Hospital handles 30,000 emergency attendances a year.

The A&E at the new facility will have to deal with 120,000 admissions every 12 months. "So you're talking about adding an extra 90,000 visits to that street a year", she added.

Ms Murphy said Temple Street "handles attendances for the northside of the city".

"Can they do it for the greater Dublin area, as well as Dundalk, Drogheda and North Wexford? The Irish Association of Emergency Medicine said there should be a two-campus solution, (a children's hospital) on the northside and the southside," she told the Herald.

Ms Murphy said she was listening to a man on the radio who has had his car clamped four times while rushing his child to Temple Street.


"The clampers are going to be making a fortune," she added.

But the paediatrician's group says the Mater project must proceed as a matter of urgency.

Dean of the Faculty, Dr Martin White, said its endorsement of the project followed a presentation by the hospital development board earlier this month.

Dr White said he was confident the majority of paediatrician members of the faculty supported the project.

The children's hospital project has been the centre of controversy since the resignation of Philip Lynch, the chairman of the development board.

The chairman of Temple Street Children's Hospital reiterated his support for the new national paediatric hospital project at the Mater site.

Donal Walsh said the project was hugely important.

He said the chairmen of the three existing children's hospitals were continuing to work together to advance the Mater plan and Temple Street supported the project.


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