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Holy See to build new Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital

Children's toys with medical equipment

pogonici | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 02/12/24

Italy and the Vatican have reached an agreement that will see a new location for "the Pope's hospital," promising more beds and medical advancment.
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The Holy See has signed an agreement with Italy to expand the reach of Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, affectionately referred to by Catholics as “the Pope’s hospital.The expansion would see a new headquarters of Bambino Gesù to be opened in Rome.

On February 8, a “declaration of intent” was struck by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope’s Secretary of State, and the Undersecretary of State at the presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy, Alfredo Mantovano.

The declaration first acknowledged Bambino Gesù for “total excellence in the field of pediatric healthcare” and biomedical research. It then revealed that the new headquarters will be located at the site of the former Carlo Forlanini hospital, in Rome. 

According to EWTN Vatican, there are still details to be ironed out — like the cost — but the agreement has outlined the work to be done by the Holy See and the National Institute for Insurance against Workplace Accidents (INAIL), a company that manages the “public and compulsory insurance of accidents at work.” 

INAIL will be responsible for the construction of the new hospital. The finished hospital, however, will actually be leased to the Vatican for a period that will allow INAIL to recuperate its investment. While the report did not mention which authority the hospital would fall under after this period, as it is the “Pope’s hospital” it is assumed to return to the Vatican. 

In a statement, Alfredo Mantovano called the declaration “the result of the common will to offer adequate spaces primarily to children with serious illnesses, their families, the doctors planning to treat them, and the research activity.”

He noted that the deal was “rather complex” from an economic and legal point of view, but he is confident that it “fully respects the spirit” of the Lateran Concordat, between Italy and the Vatican. The year 2024 marks the 40-year anniversary of the Lateran Concordat, which protects the independence and sovereignty of the Vatican, signed in 1984. 

The plan is for Bambino Gesù to open its new headquarters by 2030. The new location is expected to be quite a bit bigger than the current building, by at least four times.

Montavano commented that the current building is just not big enough to “allow the hospital to develop the potential for which it is known worldwide.” The report did not indicate if the current hospital will continue to function as a separate branch of Bambino Gesù, or if it would close.

ChildrenHealth and WellnessItalyVatican
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