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Kid's hospital row flares up again
[Posted: Thu 10/03/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
The former chairman of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board has claimed that the decision to build the hospital on the Mater site was a political one.
Meanwhile, an action group has claimed that Tallaght Hospital is the best alternative site for the paediatric development.
The new Government has said it will review the decision to locate the hospital at the Mater.
Mr Philip Lynch said it was common knowledge that a well-known politician had promised the religious order that runs the Mater that it would have the new children's hospital built on their site.
He resigned as development board chairman last year amid concerns about the location and funding of the Mater project.
He told Morning Ireland that as time went by during his chairmanship, it became obvious that the site was not the correct one, and there were difficulties with access and parking.
Mr Lynch said he favoured a site near the M50, between Balbriggan and Leopardstown linked to the Luas trainline.
He said changing the site would not unduly delay the project and it would be easier to source philanthropic funding for the project if the site was changed form the Mater.
Meanwhile, the Tallaght Hospital Action group, welcoming Mr Lynch's remarks that the Mater location choice was a political one, said the campus at Tallaght fulfilled all the criteria for the new hospital.
Chairperson of the group, Triona Murphy, said these criteria included adeauate development space, services, co-locaiton, ease of access, and teaching and research facilities.
She pointed out that Tallaght Hospital is close to the M50 and has a Luas line running through it.
The group said locating the hospital at Tallaght would essentially provide a 'stand-alone' option with additonal benefits greater than building the hospital on an isolated greenfield site.
|zebedee Posted: 10/03/2011 14:12|
Location of National Children’s Hospital
Fact: The Mater site is already heavily congested with insufficient parking for current hospital facilities. This is the same for staff, visitors and patients.
Fact: Regardless of current congestion in the area, the Mater location is not convenient for the vast majority of people in Ireland.
Fact: The Mater is not an HSE hospital.
Given the above facts, surely the Mater is clearly NOT appropriate. In my humble opinion, criteria for the location of a National hospital of any kind should include:
Any new public facility should be in a location which is convenient and easily accessible for the majority of people attending, using either private or public transport. Any such facility should include adequate parking provision for staff, visitors and patients. The location should have good access roads, with traffic volumes and consequence factored-in. It should facilitate ease of access for emergency vehicles with due consideration to route planning and congestion in vicinity / en-route.
Given that a National hospital should be a ‘public facility’; it should be owned, funded, managed and maintained completely through public ownership. At present, this would mean an HSE establishment.
Indeed, there are many voluntary hospitals in Ireland who receive considerable amounts of their funding from the HSE. I would go so far as to propose that given their origins and aims to provide healthcare to all and anyone who needs it on the basis of need, that the owning charities and foundations be given the opportunity to ‘gift’ the facility to the public and that the facilities be taken into public ownership.
After all, when these hospitals are majority funded by the HSE, yet are allowed to run ‘outside’ of HSE policy, this detracts from the effectiveness of any HSE national / public healthcare planning. Importantly, many facilities were established as charitable facilities because there was no such public facility at the time. Their origins were to provide the public with healthcare and this same ethos is now best maintained by handing them over to the public healthcare system.
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