Politicians clash over hospital decision

THERE are differing views about how suitable St. James’s Hospital will be for children living locally.

THERE are differing views about how suitable St. James’s Hospital will be for children living locally.

Fianna Fáil’s Naas area representative, James Lawless said: “A great many people from the Naas area have had occasion to visit Tallaght Hospital with their children and most have found it accessible, clean, efficient and convenient. I have been there on a number of occasions with my own children and the location served this region.” He is concerned about the additional travel time and accessibility “now that a city location has again been preferred”.

“Given that Naas hospital does not admit children into A&E - will emergency child cases now have to battle through traffic into the city centre ” asked Mr. Lawless.

But Fine Gael councillor Fintan Brett said St. James’s is well served by public transport with access to four bus routes and the Luas line.

St. James’s also meets the tri-location requirements of a children’s hospital,an adult teaching hospital and a maternity hospital on site or in close proximity.

Although E39m has been spent on plans for the Mater Hospital, a large portion of this work will be transferable to St. James’s, he said.

The Tallaght Hospital Action Group expressed disappointment at the decision and said it believed Tallaght fulfilled all accessibility, cost and value, timeframe and existing paediatric services requirements.

- Paul O’Meara