New outpatient facilities opened at the Bambino Gesù, the Vatican children's hospital in Rome's S. Paolo district, on 10 September.
The 6,000-sqm extension to the hospital caters for a variety of paediatric outpatient needs such as surgery, dermatology, cardiology and psychology, and is equipped with state-of-the-art operating theatres. The hospital's new facilities will be complete when Europe’s largest paediatric research centre opens there at the start of 2013.
The new building, next to the church of St Paul’s without the Walls, is easily reached by public transport, and has ample space for its patients, including play rooms and comfortable waiting rooms, as well as a large car park.
In November 2010 the president of the local town council Andrea Catarci claimed that the proposed extension violated planning legislation required by the Italian state. Rome's mayor Gianni Alemanno brushed aside Catarci's claims as an "ugly episode of demagoguery" and reminded him that as the centre was being built on extraterritorial Vatican property, it was not subject to the planning laws of the Italian state.
The hospital, which was founded by the Vatican in 1869, is part of the network of the national healthcare system in Rome, and in recent years has become one of the most important children’s research hospitals in Italy.