National Children's Hospital set to cost even more than originally thought 1 month ago

National Children's Hospital set to cost even more than originally thought

Inflation could add an extra €51 million to a project that is already way over budget.

The new National Children's Hospital is set to cost even more than originally thought, despite it already being heavily criticised for going over-budget.

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Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly spoke about the ever-growing bill the hospital is racking up on RTÉ's Your Politics podcast on Thursday (16 June).

"We're in a period now of very high inflation, obviously over 4%, and that's going to add significantly to the build cost," Donnelly said.

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"We don't know how much yet. I think the Chief Exec David (Gunning) was saying he couldn't give a figure for the rest of the year yet because we don't what the knock-on is going to be.

"It is expensive on this, and my views and oppositions on this are very clear in terms of... I don't believe this was set up in the right way and I don't believe the costs at the start... that the process allowed for the cost to be controlled in the way that it should have been."

The Public Accounts Committee heard today that the extra costs could be upwards of €51 million.

The hospital has been a source of much debate and criticism since it was first announced.

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The building was originally set to cost around €650 million, but a series of delays, overspending and mismanagement have led the costs to balloon to around €2 billion.

Then-Taoiseach Leo Varadkar claimed responsibility for mistakes surrounding assessing the true cost of the hospital three years ago.

"I know there has been a lot of focus on the rising cost of the new National Children’s Hospital," he said at a party conference in 2019.

"First of all, I want to say to everyone at home, that we accept responsibility for the mistakes made in projecting the true cost of building this project."

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"We cannot claim the credit for things going well if we do not also accept responsibility when things go wrong," the Taoiseach added.

"And this is one of those occasions.

"I promise you, we will learn the lessons and ensure it does not happen again. But more importantly, now that it’s started, we are going to finish the job.

"Children deserve world-class medical facilities and they’ve been waiting for them for far too long."