At a recent meeting of The National Association for General Practitioners National Council, Jonathan Irwin, Chairman of Jack & Jill made a presentation outlining the reasons why the new National Children’s Hospital should be located in a green-field site at Blanchardstown as opposed to St James hospital
Presenting his reasons, he cited numerous arguments including difficult access, car parking restrictions, child safety, lack of staff parking, the course of the Drimnagh sewer as well as escalating and unsustainable costs.
The NAGP as a national organisation found his views more than convincing. The NAGP is also aware of considerable disquiet in the paediatric medical community, that many in that community are reluctant to voice. Chris Goodey CEO of the NAGP said “it is hard to argue with such profound logic” – “it doesn’t really make any sense to build a National Children’s Hospital in a location which is clearly unsuitable particularity when there are so many better options.” He added “the Blanchardstown site which is in Minister Varadkar’s constituency will create much needed jobs in this area and a hospital in that location will be something of which future generations can be proud.”
Since becoming Minister of Health Dr Varadkar has shown, without doubt, that he possesses the leadership qualities and determination that the DOH, and arguably the State itself, has lacked for years. The site at St James’s is the wrong location and it will not take long before this to become apparent. This is another critical decision that we would ask The Minister to reconsider, difficult as that may be.
The NAGP are conscious that Minister Varadkar may feel that he is compromised by choosing a site in his own constituency, but having supported the green field Blanchardstown option in the past, there should be no question that the Minister would be acting solely in the national interest.
The site at Blanchardstown offers many options for future development as our population grows. The St James site has little or no future development potential.
The NAGP asks the Minister to exercise his leadership once more and in the interest of the children from the whole island of Ireland and from generations not yet born, to reconsider this decision.