Chair of National Children’s Hospital project resigns as controversy rages over cost overrun
THE chairman of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board Tom Costello has announced he is to step down from his position.
His resignation follows weeks of controversy after it was revealed the beleaguered National Children’s Hospital project could cost taxpayers in Kilkenny and across the country up to €2 billion, making it the most expensive hospital in the world.
In a statement issued this morning, Mr Costello said: “I am concerned about the reputational damage that the ongoing commentary about the increased cost of the hospital is having on this critically important project and so I have decided to step down from my role to help ensure that focus is restored on delivering the project.”
The Children’s Hospital has been mired in controversy since it emerged that construction costs soared from €983m to more than €1.4 billion.
Another €300m is due to be spent fitting out the hospital with ICT equipment. The total cost is expected to be more than €1.7bn.
This week concerns were raised at a meeting of the Dáil’s spending watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that costs could top €2bn.
Health Minister Simon Harris yesterday said there will be “accountability” and suggested there will be “personnel changes” in the governance of the project.