Children's hospital decision due in SeptemberWednesday 06 July 2011 21.59
The Government has said it will make a final decision on proceeding with the development of a new €650m national children's hospital after its overall review of capital spending is completed in September.
Minister for Health Dr James Reilly said that the independent review of the project gave unanimous and unequivocal support for the Matter Hospital site.
The review said that while no perfect site is available, co-location with an adult hospital was essential.
It said that the cost of developing the hospital at the Mater would be similar to the cost of developing it elsewhere.
The Government has asked the Hospital Development Board to proceed as a matter of urgency in submitting the planning application to An Bord Pleanála.
Hospital could be open by 2016
The independent review of the plans for a new children's hospital says that if their recommendations are followed the new hospital could be opened by the end of 2016.
However, if the hospital is moved to a new location, it could be delayed until 2019.
The report calls for an urgent review of aspects of the hospital design, including the helicopter pad, the emergency department and radiology.
Due to wind problems, the helicopter pad will not now be on the roof of the children's hospital but will be moved to the Mater adult hospital. An access link bridge will join the two facilities.
The hospital is to have 736 patient parking spaces.