Fears that Children’s Hospital overspend may hit Portiuncula

There are fresh fears that a new 50-bed extension planned for Portiuncula Hospital could be delayed further by a national funding shortfall.

The proposal to extend the Ballinasloe hospital was first announced in February 2013, and it was re-announced again in 2016.

Last February, the then Government Minister, Denis Naughten, welcomed another commitment that some €15 million had been allocated for the project as part of Project Ireland 2040.

The Independent Galway-Roscommon Dáil Deputy said at the time that it was a ‘shovel ready’ project. He added: “I am confident that work will start in the third quarter of this year (2018).

However, a year later and there has been little progress leading to concerns that the project has been side-lined. The delays impact refurbishment plans for existing beds at Portiuncula.

And now cost overruns on the national children’s hospital project are further fuelling fears that Portiuncula will be long-fingered again – and possibly scrapped altogether.

The proposed children’s hospital in Dublin was expected to cost €983 million initially, but that has since risen to €1.733 billion and it has been conceded that it eventually could top €2-billion, casting doubt on other planned capital investments.
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