>@Richard Willis/EIB

The European Investment Bank is to provide a loan of EUR 490 million to support construction of the new children’s hospital in Dublin. This represents the largest ever financial engagement by the European Union’s long-term lending institution in Ireland and the EIB’s first backing for a hospital in the country.

“The new Children’s Hospital is the largest single healthcare investment in our history. It will transform the way in which we deliver care to sick children and their families. This loan from the European Investment Bank, the largest loan it has provided to Ireland to date, will allow us to build a world class hospital which will be a centre of paediatric research and medical education, as well as a safe and secure environment for families of sick children. It will be state of the art.  Every child will have a single room.  There will be parent accommodation, a garden and a school.  It will be born digital with the newest equipment and technology.  I would like to thank the European Investment Bank and its President Werner Hoyer for its commitment and support in upgrading Ireland’s infrastructure and helping us to build the health service we deserve.” said An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

“The impressive new children’s hospital will provide 21st century healthcare for Ireland’s children, improve paediatric innovation and construct a world class facility in the heart of Dublin. It has been a privilege to hear from staff and patients how the new hospital will transform medical care and to see how construction here on the campus shared with St James’s Hospital has already progressed. The EU Bank is committed to increasing support for new investment that improves lives and economic opportunities across Ireland. The largest ever EIB loan in Ireland reflects the diligent preparation and broad benefits expected from the new children’s hospital.” said Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank.

The record 25 year loan was confirmed during a formal signature ceremony at Government Buildings  in Dublin attended by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Simon Harris T.D., Minister for Health, Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Finance and Governor of the European Investment Bank, Dr. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank and Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, as well as staff and members of the HSE, National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, the Children’s Hospital Group Board and children who live close to the hospital.

Following the loan signature Ministers Harris and Donohoe visited the 12 acre site of the new hospital with EIB President Hoyer and his delegation.

“The EUR 490 million European Investment Bank support for construction of Ireland’s new children’s hospital confirmed today is very welcome. This project will enable a transformation of acute paediatric health care services in this country. Hundreds of jobs will be created during construction, and once open, care will be provided in 39 different specialties. The record EIB support reflects the quality of Ireland’s new children’s hospital and we are pleased to welcome Dr Hoyer and his colleagues to the site of the hospital to mark this occasion. Construction of the new hospital is underway already, turning years of planning and consultation into reality and providing opportunities for local contractors and apprentices in the construction phase. When the hospital opens, it will employ 3,700 people bringing even more employment and expenditure into the area.” said Simon Harris TD, Minister for Health. 

“It is everyone’s hope that a children’s hospital is somewhere we will never need to be. However, that, unfortunately, is not the reality for thousands of children every year. In seeking to provide the care our children need, the NCH proposals have been benchmarked against European best practice. This will ensure that those who are among the most vulnerable in our society – our sick children – will receive the highest standard of care in the best possible surroundings. This is being made possible with the help of the EIB’s delivery on a commitment to strengthen engagement to transform key infrastructure in Ireland. Securing long-term financing from the European Investment Bank will reduce the overall cost of the new National Children’s Hospital and the record loan that is being provided - the largest ever EIB engagement in Ireland - reflects the importance and impact of the new hospital. The loan signing, which is taking place today marks another step along the road to delivering what is a very important project for the most important of our people.” said Paschal Donohoe T.D., Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, and Governor of the European Investment Bank.

The new hospital will both consolidate and modernise paediatric hospital care for the Greater Dublin Area and transform tertiary care for children and young people for the whole country.

“The EIB is pleased to support construction of Ireland’s new children’s hospital and the EUR 490 million agreement confirmed today is testament to the ambition and diligence of all those involved in the scheme. In recent months the EIB has increased backing for social investment, supporting new investment in social housing, education and local infrastructure and new engagement was discussed with Irish ministers at the Ireland-EIB Working Group meeting earlier today. The new children’s hospital is already providing opportunities for construction, engineering, mechanical and electrical firms from across the country that are already working on site and once operational healthcare, research and family support will be world class.” added Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

Once open in 2022 the new children’s hospital will provide 380 individual inpatient rooms, each with a parent bed, 93 day care beds, 22 operating theatres and a 53-unit family accommodation facility, as well as 4 acres of outdoor gardens and courtyards.

The new children’s hospital will be Ireland’s leading centre for paediatric research and medical education. The location of paediatric care, research and innovation on a single site will help to foster further collaborative discoveries and improve innovation in specialist patient care.

The new hospital is expected to be the first acute hospital in Ireland to use electronic health records and play a key role in the future digitalisation of the Irish health sector.The EIB will finance the new children’s hospital through the National Treasury Management Agency and construction will be overseen by the Department of Health. The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board is responsible for planning, designing, building and equipping the new hospital on foot of a project brief from the Health Service Executive and approved by the Minister of Health.

This represents the first EIB financing for a new hospital in Ireland since the start of EIB lending in the country in 1973 and follows EIB support totalling EUR 70 million for construction of 14 primary health care centres agreed in May 2016.

The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and over the last decade the EIB has provided more than EUR 16.5 billion for hospital and healthcare investment in 25 European Union countries. This has included support for construction of new teaching hospitals and primary health care centres, as well as upgrading and expanding existing healthcare facilities.

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

The new children’s hospital project includes two new Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres, one at Tallaght Hospital on the south side of the city and one at Connolly Hospital, on the north side of the city.  The Connolly facility will open first in 2019, with the Tallaght one following soon after in 2020.