Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Cork Hospitals: Payment of Fees.

asked the Minister for Health if he will state (1) the total amount of fees paid to date to architects, consultants and quantity surveyors in connection with the plans and specifications for the Cork regional hospital and the regional maternity hospital, (2) the amount of these fees paid in respect of plans and surveys which have now been scrapped, and (3) the estimated amount of fees to be paid to architects, consultants and quantity surveyors before these hospitals are finally completed, and whether he is prepared to suggest any means of reducing this sum.

The information required by the Deputy is as follows:—

(1) £27,285 6s. 11d. (2) £7,285 6s. 11d. (3) The amount of professional fees to be paid is related directly to the cost of the work as carried out and as a firm estimate of the cost is not yet available, the total amount of the fees cannot be stated at present.

A reduction in the amount of the fees payable can only be achieved by reducing the cost of the work, and in examining the plans for the new hospital the officers of my Department have constantly in mind the importance of securing all possible economies. As the Deputy is aware, it was decided in 1953 not to proceed with the building of a regional maternity hospital on the Wilton site.