Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is reportedly on the “sidelines” of the New Children’s Hospital following reports he did not have any formal meetings with the board for 15 months.
The Irish Daily Mail said there are no records of meetings taking place between January 2022 and March 2023.
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Health David Cullinane TD said Mr Donnelly has taken a “hands off approach” to the NCH.
“He has been on the sidelines,” he said. “He should be making sure that he gets regular meetings with the board.
“He should be ensuring that the board have the completion of this project moving as quickly as possible.
“The only way that the Minister can be assured that everything that can be done is being done to minimise costs to ensure that the works are happening.... was for the Minister to be meeting with the board and to be getting regular updates.”
'Lack of trust'
Deputy Cullinane previously told The Pat Kenny Show there is also a “severe lack of trust” between the Board and the builders contracted for the hospital.
Investigative analysis group Kroll was hired by the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board to survey the hospital site - but were reportedly excluded by lead contractor BAM for six weeks.
The earliest the new National Children’s Hospital could be able to admit patients is March 2025, according to doctors due to work there.
The National Children’s Hospital was first intended to open in 2014, but it has been delayed by controversy over its cost and location throughout the past nine years.
A spokesperson for the department says Minister Donnelly is 'fully committed' to making sure the hospital is completed as quickly as possible.
Main image: Splitscreen of Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and the building site of the New Children's Hospital.