I propose to take Questions Nos. 403 and 405 to 407, inclusive, together.
The new children’s hospital is a vital and much needed project. The Government has examined the funding pressures associated with delivering this important project and has made adjustments to capital allocations to ensure that the new children’s hospital will be delivered.
My Department and the Health Service Executive are currently engaged in a process to finalise the HSE Capital Plan for 2019. The HSE Capital Plan will determine the projects that can progress in 2019 and beyond having regard to the total available capital funding and the relevant priority of each project. All Health capital projects, currently at various stages of development, such as the projects in Leitrim, Donegal and Sligo, are included as part of this process.
In developing its Capital Plan for 2019 and future years, the HSE must consider a range of issues including, the expenditure that is contractually committed, the HSE’s annual requirement in relation to meeting risks associated with clinical equipment, ambulances and healthcare infrastructure and the total capital exchequer funding required for the new children’s hospital.
Once the HSE has finalised its Capital Plan for 2019, it will then be submitted to me for consideration.
As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to outline to you directly the current status of the projects specified in your questions.