Harris says he will strengthen governance of children's hospital board

The Minister for Health has told an Oireachtas committee that he is willing to do whatever it takes to strengthen the governance of the National Children's Hospital.

A report into the escalating cost of the hospital was published by Government yesterday.

The independent review carried out by PWC identified "a series of weaknesses in terms of set-up, planning, budget, execution, and governance" of the project.

It found that an underestimation of the real cost of the project contributed to the "vast majority" of the €450m increases, while costs like VAT, delays and changes to regulation and building standards were also attributable factors.

Simon Harris has told an Oireachtas Committee on Health this morning that strengthening the board doesn't mean members will be asked to step aside.

"My initial thoughts are that the statutory instrument does give me the power to alter the size of the board and to add people to the board," he said.

"So whilst I haven't made these decisions, less than 24-hours after [the report's] publication, what I can say with certainty is that I will be strengthening the board, particularly in the area the PWC report has identified it should be strengthened."

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