Crumlin Hospital: Our sick children can't wait
The Pollock Report commissioned by the New Children's Hospital Group and compiled by Dr. Ronnie Pollock has stated that the Crumlin Children's Hospital falls well below internationally acceptable standards.
By Ger Hughes
Crumlin Children's Hospital, built in the 1950's as a local hospital, has since become the tertiary referral centre for the whole country. In 1958, there were 3,683 admissions, in 2002 this figure had risen to 19,850!
The hospital infratructure is incapable of coping with such large numbers, and the declining conditions are what has prompted the parents' campaign. Fundraising efforts by people all over the country have been needed to keep the hospital going and to compensate for the neglect by successive right wing Governments.
The parents' campaign has forced the Government to accept that the hospital needs major refurbishment. But whereas the Pollock Report proposes that the hospital be rebuilt and open for 2009, Michael Martin has proposed a timetable that would see the work only begin in 2007 with a completion date for 2010. Everyone knows that such a timescale is unrealistic, we're all supposed to be travelling by Luas already! If the Government sticks to its "plan", then the hospital might be finished in about ten years time.
The announcement of the rebuilding of Crumlin Children's Hospital was made "quietly" in the Irish Medical Times and hasn't received major publicity. Could it be that Fianna Fail and the PD's want to have a big fanfare in 2007 at the time of the next general election, and that their re-election is more important that the conditions faced by Ireland's sick children?