Plans to build the new €300m National Maternity Hospital are in danger of collapse, it was revealed today.
The delay in giving the go ahead to the commencement works on the campus at St Vincent’s Hospital has put its future in jeopardy, the deputy chair of the National Maternity Hospital Nicholas Kearns warned.
Approval for the works was taken over from the HSE by the Department of Health and is currently with Health Minister Simon Harris, he said.
Approval should have been given six months ago, he told the annual meeting of the Irish Hospital Consultants Association today.
Work on the pharmacy and car park must be started by the end of the year to comply with EU law on European energy requirements for new buildings.
“If this does not happen it will fold and we will be back to square one.”
The deadline was October 1 and it has not happened, causing “grave concern”, he added.
He said the delay in approval dates back to the time the Minister decided to refer the case of the late Malak Thawley, who died in Holles Street undergoing surgery for ectopic pregnancy, to the Health Information and Quality Authority for inquiry.
A High Court challenge taken by the hospital to the grounds for inquiry found the referral was unreasonable.
“We were completely vindicated and we are at a complete loss to understand the delay.”
He appealed to the Minister to grant approval for it to go ahead in light of the suggestion that the health service will get substantial funding in the Budget.