As we gather in the Chamber our thoughts are very much in St. Columba's Church in Glenswilly as the funeral mass gets under way for the late Councillor Manus Kelly. I join my party and all of us in sending our thoughts this morning, in particular, to its family and friends as we gather.
The issues surrounding the national children's hospital and the overrun are not going away. This morning, in The Irish Times Martin Wall reported on a letter sent in April by the acting director general of the HSE, Anne O'Connor, who is still a very senior official within the executive, outlining her concerns about the construction of the HSE's capital plan and the difficulties that the overrun in the children's hospital were having on this.
We are now at the end of June and we still do not have the HSE's capital plan for 2019. The executive has still not outlined a plan. Will the Tánaiste comment on why we still do not have a capital plan? I want him to give a commitment to the House that the plan will be published before 11 July when the House goes into recess for the summer. The letter in the article this morning outlined a number of concerns of HSE management and the officials in charge of implementing the plan. There is one line in it that sums everything up, which is "The additional impact now of the national children's hospital overrun over the years 2020/2021/2022 has made what was a very difficult situation almost impossible." This is from the horse's mouth. This is from the people in charge of the programme whose job it is to implement it. However, the Tánaiste, the Taoiseach and the Minister, Deputy Harris, continue to act as if there is no problem and continue to state there is nothing to see here and that they will manage the cost overruns and spread them out. The Government published a list of projects that would be re-profiled.
The people on the ground and in charge of implementing this project have sent up a flag this morning. What is the Tánaiste's reaction to this? The only political oversight of the national children's hospital during its inception related to the PR opportunities involved, and the photographs would happen at the right time. There was oversight of yellow jackets, hard hats and cameras. Meanwhile, the overspend continued to mount and now it will hit communities throughout the country. This has been proven by the letter this morning.
The capital plan means new buildings, new facilities and new ambulances. It is the essence of what is important in redesigning our health programme in line with the aspirations of Sláintecare. The then acting director general called it out for what it is. As we speak, the director general and the Secretary General of the Department of Health are before the Committee of Public Accounts outlining the ongoing charges to the health budget. This overspend has happened on the Government's watch. Will he comment on the letter and commit to the publication of the HSE's capital plan for 2019? It is unbelievable that we still do not have it at the end of June 2019. I want the Tánaiste to commit to the publication of that plan and a discussion on it in the Chamber before we go to recess.