The Government chose the “least worst option” when it decided to proceed with the development of the new national children’s hospital.
The overall cost of the project now stands at €1.43bn. It includes additional costs totalling €450m on top of the agreed capital budget of €983m.
A Department of Health briefing note has been given to the Oireachtas Committee before a meeting taking place later today with Health Minister Simon Harris to discuss cost over-runs.
Last December the Government decided to allow the project to proceed despite escalating costs and the briefing note explains why.
“The decision was made in the face of a major escalation in cost but having regard to this being judged the least worst option for delivery of this priority project,” it reads.
Chairperson of the committee, Dr Michael Harty, said the committee had previously expressed its frustration and deep concern over the projected over-runs and its impact on all future capital investment in the health service.
“Current indications are that the cost of the new National Children’s Hospital is expected to rise, leading to a knock-on impact on other health services,” said Dr Harty today.
Secretary general of the Department, Jim Breslin will also engage with the committee.