BAM seeks €12m extra costs for hospital work

The developers of the National Children’s Hospital have submitted claims for additional costs worth some €12m since February.

Members of the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have been told of further spiralling costs associated with the project.

It has previously been confirmed that the overall cost of the project has ballooned to €1.7bn. It now appears that this figure could increase further, with inflation potentially driving it even higher.

Members of the committee yesterday criticised health officials who were unable to pin down exactly what the final cost could be.

Fred Barry, who was named chairman of the National Children’s Hospital in February, said he is aware of “many additional claims” for costs from the developer since he was appointed.

Mr Barry said that none of the claims has yet been substantiated, but said they amount to approximately €12m.

PAC members also raised concerns about the impact of inflation.

Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry said the current budget of €1.7bn is “just wrong”, as it is based on construction inflation remaining stable at 4%. However, if this increases to 10%, it could cost an extra €100m.

“Inflation in Dublin this year is between 10% and 12% already,” said Mr MacSharry. “Does anyone have a guess at what it will actually cost?”

Jim Breslin, secretary general of the Department of Health, said that inflation of 7% could cost an extra €47m.

“It is reasonable to say €50m. If inflation changes, it will be in excess of that,” he said.

The State will also have to provide a charity with some €10m to help provide overnight accommodation for the families of sick children at the hospital.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities had previously indicated they would provide accommodation “in full” but have since approached the Department of Health and informed them that fundraising alone will not be sufficient to provide for the facility.

Currently, the charity provides accommodation for families of children being treated at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.

Mr Breslin said the charity is now seeking a contribution of €10m from the State —a figure which could rise further.

“It depends on fundraising efforts from them,” Mr Breslin added.

“We utterly relied on a charity to do this and now they are coming back and saying they aren’t so charitable?” Independent TD Catherine Connolly asked.

Is it €10m to start with and possibly more? It is very reassuring that we are spending almost €2bn for a hospital and that we are relying on Ronald McDonald to accommodate our children.

More on this topic

Review conflict of interest - Children’s hospital cost overrun

Paul Quinn tells PAC he would have been in breach of the law if he told Minister of hospital overspend

HSE accused of 'making eejits' of Public Accounts Committee over children's hospital

Children’s hospital board member to face PAC

More in this Section

Gardaí in Galway appealing for witnesses to two assaults in the city

Former barrister who stole €235,000 from businessman to be sentenced

Tánaiste admits delay in new digital safety laws amid call to ban children from viewing porn online

Students to take PE classes in Irish to boost fluency


Lifestyle

Animation with emotion: Irish animators on what makes Pixar the best

Step aside London and Paris: The alternative fashion weeks are giving cutting edge fashionistas what they really want

Scene and Heard: Five-minute Theatre For One and George Ezra top picks in Cork

Music is at the core of Sultana’s raison d’etre

More From The Irish Examiner