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Italy and Vatican ink deal for new children's hospital in Rome

New site for Bambino Gesù paediatric hospital.

Italy and the Holy See have reached a deal on a new location for the Vatican-run Bambino Gesù hospital at the site of the former Forlanini hospital in Rome.

The "declaration of intent" was signed on Thursday by Italy's cabinet secretary Alfredo Mantovano and the Vatican's secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin at the embassy of Italy to the Holy See.

The Bambino Gesù site on the Janiculum Hill no longer permits "any further expansion or improvement of healthcare provision or research activities", according to a joint statement, which recognises the hospital as boasting "absolute excellency in the field of paediatric healthcare assistance and biomedical research at national and international level".

The new Bambino Gesù will be housed in the Carlo Forlanini hospital, part of the vast San Camillo hospital complex operated by the Lazio Region in Rome's Portuense district, and is to be granted extraterritorial status as provided for by the Lateran Treaty.

Archive image of Forlanini Hospital. Photo: Fondo per l'Ambiente Italiano (FAI).


Under the agreement, the Vatican will buy the building and its grounds from the Lazio Region "at a price to be established" and the construction of the new hospital will be paid for by Italy's workplace accident insurance agency INAIL.

The finished hospital will then be leased to the Vatican by INAIL - with rental terms yet to be agreed - to allow INAIL to recuperate its investment.

Inaugurated in 1934, the Carlo Forlanini hospital was founded originally to treat tuberculosis patients.

It closed definitively in 2015, transferring its departments and services to the nearby San Camillo and Spallanzani hospitals.

Photo credit: Stefano Chiacchiarini '74 / Shutterstock.com.

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