A health economist says the new National Children's Hospital needs to be about care, not architecture.
Dr Brian Turner was speaking after an Oireachtas committee heard on Wednesday the price of the new hospital is likely to increase again beyond the current €1.4n price tag.
The new hospital's development board said it cannot provide a forecast of how much more the project will likely cost taxpayers.
However, 900 claims for extra money have been submitted by the builders.
Just nine of those claims have been settled for a total cost of €2.5m - while six more are likely headed to the High Court.
Dr Turner is a health economist at UCC and told Newstalk Breakfast the price tag will probably go over €2bn.
"I certainly wasn't surprised - disappointed perhaps - but this project has been beset by cost over-runs and delays pretty much right from the off.
"To put this in perspective: in 2014 the HSE approved capital spending of €650m for the hospital itself, and then if you add in other bits and bobs it came up to €790m.
"We're now being told the hospital will hopefully open in 2024 - so 10 years later - and we still don't know what the overall cost is going to be.
"My suspicion is that it's going to be somewhere north of €2bn".
Dr Turner says some of the factors here include new pressures on the construction sector.
"The delays and the over-runs are linked as well because pre-pandemic, the tender price index was showing inflation of about 7% a year.
"So construction costs are going up all the time.
"And if you think about it, we have a construction sector that was hollowed out during the last recession and never fully got back to capacity.
"We now have huge demands on that construction sector in terms of public infrastructure, housing... so we have a massive demand on our construction sector".
But he says we need to learn lessons from all this.
"It does look like the design changed after it was agreed for the National Children's Hospital - so that's bound to add new costs on.
"Everybody wants a world-class hospital - whatever world-class actually means, I don't think there's a standard definition of that.
"But the main thing about a hospital is people being treated, so it doesn't have to be the most architecturally wonderful building as long as the care is at the highest level".
And Dr Turner says there needs to be a tighter grip on budgeting.
"The first thing that needs to be done is some kind of oversight needs to be put in in terms of tendering for public infrastructure projects, to see what exactly goes wrong so often and so badly with these projects - and what we can learn from that".