EIB loan is a huge vote of confidence in the new Children’s Hospital project and in Ireland – Minister Harris
Minister for Health, Simon Harris, today (Friday) welcomed the announcement by the European Investment Bank of its decision to provide a loan of €490 million to Ireland to support the construction of the new children’s hospital and associated outpatient and urgent care centres.
This is the EIB’s largest ever single capital loan in Ireland and the loan represents almost half of the €1bn exchequer investment required to develop the core hospital and the two outpatient and urgent care centres. Securing this long-term financing from the EIB will reduce the overall interest cost to the State of financing the new children’s hospital and centres.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister for Health Simon Harris said “I am delighted that the EIB has decided to embrace and endorse this vital project by providing us with this loan. The new children’s hospital is the most significant capital investment in healthcare in the history of the State and the EIB’s loan is a vote of confidence, not just in his project, but in Ireland.”
The establishment of the new children’s hospital provides a unique opportunity to introduce a new model of care for all paediatric services to help tackle current and future challenges in child health and to deliver on the huge advances that are possible in children’s healthcare. More than a hospital, the new children’s hospital facilities at the St James’s campus along with the centres at Connolly and at Tallaght will be a research-intensive academic healthcare institution.
The new children’s hospital will be complete in 2022. Also under construction are two new paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres, one at Connolly Hospital, on the north side of the city, to open in 2019, and one at Tallaght Hospital on the south side of the city, to open in 2020.
Minister Harris said “This new hospital is an extraordinary opportunity to transform paediatric services for children in Ireland by bringing together patients and staff from across the three existing children’s hospitals into a single organisation, which will improve the experience and outcomes for children and their families.”
Notes to the Editor
EIB announcement and signing of €490m exchequer loan to part-finance the building of the new children’s hospital and two paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres in Dublin.
The National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) will enter the Contract for the loan on behalf of Ireland.
The total capital cost for construction and equipping of the new children’s hospital and the paediatric outpatient and urgent care centres is €1.07bn.
The new children’s hospital was identified as a potentially suitable project for support by the European Investment Bank.
The Department of Health, together with the National Development Finance Agency, the Health Service Executive, the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and the Children’s Hospital Group engaged with the EIB earlier this year with a view to accessing EIB financing for the development of the hospital and urgent care centres.
In September 2017, all the parties undertook a full-day due diligence workshop and a site visit to the St James’s Hospital campus, including a briefing for the Bank by the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board and the Children’s Hospital Group Board.
By way of background, the EIB is an international public bank, owned by 28 Member States, including Ireland. They are typically able to provide finance at rates that are cheaper than other private sector finance providers and the sovereign Bond markets. Prior to this financing, EIB has provided c.€3.9 billion into Ireland since 2012, which includes amounts lent to the Irish Exchequer, Irish PPPs and other Irish borrowers (i.e. Bord Gáis, ESB, Housing Finance Agency, various Irish Universities, etc.).
The EIB recognises that investment in infrastructure requires substantial financing at reasonable costs, and therefore it seeks to support ambitious and sustainable vital infrastructure projects. The new children’s hospital project was identified as a suitable project due to its strategic importance and capacity to deliver a positive impact on the economy.