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Libs would spend $395m on new hospital building

By Charlotte Harper - 10 August 2016 15

An artist's impression of the planned hospital building

If elected in October, the Canberra Liberals would spend $395 million on a new building at the Canberra Hospital and provide an extra $8 million for nurses, doctors and other staff who would work there.

Opposition Leader and Health spokesman Jeremy Hanson told the Legislative Assembly today that the Liberals would revive Labor’s pre-2012 election promise to commit to the rebuilding.

He said then Health Minister Katy Gallagher made a case for spending $375 million to rebuild Building 3 at the hospital in the lead up to the last Assembly election.

“They went into the last election promising this,” he said.

“They said they were going to do this and made the case that this needs to be done, but sadly after the 2012 election that all fell apart.

“To the outrage of many who work at the Canberra Hospital, the Labor Party pulled the plug.”

Mr Hanson said the Liberals would take the $375 million the ACT Government had committed to stage one of its light rail project in the 2016-17 budget and redirect it to the hospital project.

“The exact amount put into this budget for light rail is the exact amount that was committed to the hospital rebuild,” he said.

“We will take that money away from light rail and put it back where the community wants it, into the hospital.”

ACT Minister for Transport and Municipal Services Meegan Fitzharris responded, saying the Liberals Shadow Treasurer, Alistair Coe, was “clearly out of his depth if he thinks spending $300 million tearing up contracts will give them more money to invest in services”.

“Light rail will transform Canberra, cancelling it would send Canberra businesses and the ACT economy into freefall and cost our city 3500 jobs,” she said.

Greens Leader Shane Rattenbury said the Canberra Liberals were spruiking a “magic pudding” of funds they imagined would be saved by cancelling light rail, but not factoring in compensation payments that would be required.

He said it wasn’t clear how the Liberals’ proposal would fit in with existing Government works and planned works at The Canberra Hospital and that he would be looking very closely at these matters.

“We’ve seen some quite fluffy policies coming out, completely failing to recognise existing work that’s been put into these areas,” Mr Rattenbury said.

The Liberals said the new hospital building would include a new 92-bed emergency department, a new 48-bed intensive care unit; a new 25-bed emergency medical unit and caapacity for 20 new operating theatres.

“The new hospital will also cater for a new 25 bed medical assessment planning unit, 105 ambulatory treatment spaces and a new state of the art medical imaging unit. There will also be new admission foyer, sterilisation unit and new patient and volunteer facilities,” Mr Hanson said.

Pictured above is an artist’s impression of the planned hospital building supplied by the Canberra Liberals.

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Libs would spend $395m on new hospital building
1
rosscoact 11:41 am
10 Aug 16
#

Wow, where is the business case for that?

Why is it that we are so addicted to profligacy? Surely the electorate won’t get sucked into this unfunded pork-barreling that will benefit only a few people?

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2
devils_advocate 1:01 pm
10 Aug 16
#

Political masterstroke.
Framing this as a choice between a tram and a hospital, in theory, should make no difference to voters.
But many of us think in such terms.
As things currently stand, many opponents of the tram think of it as a waste of money, that will be visited upon the ACT in the form of increased rates.
In theory, people would think of the ROI for any asset, and not ‘jamjar accounting’.
Framing the choice is this way is forcing people to think of the opportunity cost.
Actually putting the picture in people’s minds of giving up additional hospital beds is far more persuasive than simply ranting about the waste of money.
I think now the battle has well and truly been joined.

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3
chewy14 4:00 pm
10 Aug 16
#

Masquara said :

Wow, where is the business case for that?

Why is it that we are so addicted to profligacy? Surely the electorate won’t get sucked into this unfunded pork-barreling that will benefit only a few people?

Haha, highlighting the ridiculousness of the tram debate perfectly.

It will be interesting to see how the supporters of the tram frame their view of this proposal considering some of the logic that’s been used previously.

Agree with Devil’s advocate, this is a beautiful political proposal that highlights just how bad our politicians are.

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4
dungfungus 4:17 pm
10 Aug 16
#

Masquara said :

Wow, where is the business case for that?

Why is it that we are so addicted to profligacy? Surely the electorate won’t get sucked into this unfunded pork-barreling that will benefit only a few people?

Yes the ones in our community that are chronically ill, aged and infirmed have no need for health care. Such audacity of the Liberals to suggest such a thing.

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5
rosscoact 4:24 pm
10 Aug 16
#

John Moulis said :

Masquara said :

Wow, where is the business case for that?

Why is it that we are so addicted to profligacy? Surely the electorate won’t get sucked into this unfunded pork-barreling that will benefit only a few people?

Haha, highlighting the ridiculousness of the tram debate perfectly.

It will be interesting to see how the supporters of the tram frame their view of this proposal considering some of the logic that’s been used previously.

Agree with Devil’s advocate, this is a beautiful political proposal that highlights just how bad our politicians are.

Yes, the opposite of spending money is not spending money, rather than finding something else to spend money on. Less, more, it makes little difference if the money is being spent.

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6
JC 5:25 pm
10 Aug 16
#

John Moulis said :

It will be interesting to see how the supporters of the tram frame their view of this proposal considering some of the logic that’s been used previously.

Agree with Devil’s advocate, this is a beautiful political proposal that highlights just how bad our politicians are.

I shall bite. This is actually the governments policy. The key difference is the government planned to do it early, but then changed to a staged approach over 10 years as demand grew. Hence they are expanding the current emergency department at Woden and have increased staff numbers to match.

In recent years they have also expanded ICU and the operating theatre building (all 3 are in building 12). They have expanded maternity (which my wife has now used twice and it is a great facility). They have also built the new cancer centre and have refurbished wards at Woden, so really there has been no shortage of money spent on the Canberra hospital in the past 10 years or so.

Also a quote from Mr Hanson in the CT says “Almost all of the funding for his $395 million building would come from the $375 million lump sum the government had budgeted to pay the tram consortium at the end of 2018”, which neglects to mention that they would also have to pay a similar amount of money to exit the current light rail contract. So a bit of double dipping it would seem.

But overall wedge politics at its finest.

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7
HiddenDragon 6:20 pm
10 Aug 16
#

Given the numbers of NSW residents who use the Canberra Hospital, a direct contribution from the cashed-up NSW Government (Budget in surplus, as I recall it), would be nice.

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8
gooterz 9:24 pm
10 Aug 16
#

I’m a bit lost, when was the tram deal made public? How do we know what the termination cost is? Or are we going to take their word for it?

Why did we get a tram and not a hospital? The hospital isn’t in the right electorate.

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9
Lerenor 10:55 pm
10 Aug 16
#

Why do the libs artist impressions always look like they were produced in 1995? I’m surprised the ‘Canberra Hospital’ sign in that image isn’t written in comic sans.

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10
JC 10:46 pm
12 Aug 16
#

gooterz said :

I’m a bit lost, when was the tram deal made public? How do we know what the termination cost is? Or are we going to take their word for it?

Why did we get a tram and not a hospital? The hospital isn’t in the right electorate.

Don’t know if the deal was public but the government did announce about 6-8 weeks how much it would cost to cancel the contracts say early next year.

Also last time I looked we had a hospital that is under going refurbishment including an expanded emergency depertment. Plus enlarged ICU and operating theatre. All in the same building actually. Plus a whole heap of other health spending including the new acute care hospital in Bruce.

So really we are getting spending on hospital infrastructure (including staff to run the expansion) and light rail.

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11
rommeldog56 9:21 pm
13 Aug 16
#

JC said :

Don’t know if the deal was public but the government did announce about 6-8 weeks how much it would cost to cancel the contracts say early next year.

Also last time I looked we had a hospital that is under going refurbishment including an expanded emergency depertment. Plus enlarged ICU and operating theatre. All in the same building actually. Plus a whole heap of other health spending including the new acute care hospital in Bruce.

So really we are getting spending on hospital infrastructure (including staff to run the expansion) and light rail.

Right, both. Of course, that wouldn’t be a prime reason why Annual Rates are skyrocketing, why “levies” have been introduced/increased and ACT Gov’t fees and charges are escalating at a rapid rate. Nah. Of course not.

Oh – and anyone who believes what Kim Jong-un Barr says about the cost of terminating the contract, without seeing the contract provisions itself, must also believe that pigs can fly. I wouldn’t trust this ACT Labor/Greens Gov’t as far as I could throw them……..

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12
gooterz 9:36 pm
13 Aug 16
#

JC said :

gooterz said :

I’m a bit lost, when was the tram deal made public? How do we know what the termination cost is? Or are we going to take their word for it?

Why did we get a tram and not a hospital? The hospital isn’t in the right electorate.

Don’t know if the deal was public but the government did announce about 6-8 weeks how much it would cost to cancel the contracts say early next year.

Also last time I looked we had a hospital that is under going refurbishment including an expanded emergency depertment. Plus enlarged ICU and operating theatre. All in the same building actually. Plus a whole heap of other health spending including the new acute care hospital in Bruce.

So really we are getting spending on hospital infrastructure (including staff to run the expansion) and light rail.

So either the Labor party made the same unneeded promise at the last election, or we actually need it. Either way its not good for Labor.

There is still a bucket load of things you can’t get done in Canberra. It makes more sense to have one super awesome hospital close by than to have many good hospitals in very close proximity.

It makes sense to have a bigger hospital given we’re going to be a population of over 500,000 soon thanks to light rail.

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13
Garfield 10:59 pm
13 Aug 16
#

JC said :

gooterz said :

I’m a bit lost, when was the tram deal made public? How do we know what the termination cost is? Or are we going to take their word for it?

Why did we get a tram and not a hospital? The hospital isn’t in the right electorate.

Don’t know if the deal was public but the government did announce about 6-8 weeks how much it would cost to cancel the contracts say early next year.

The government announced their estimates on how much it would cost to cancel, most likely inflated like the other figures they’ve released recently to try and attack the Liberals. For example I’m pretty sure they’ve included the cost of buying the trams, even though they could be on-sold, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve factored in losing the federal government’s $60m contribution, even though that could be directed into other infrastructure spending. A federal Liberal government wouldn’t strip $60m in infrastructure funding from the first ACT Liberal government elected since 1998. It would probably be redirected to this hospital building.

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14
JC 10:28 pm
14 Aug 16
#

gooterz said :

So either the Labor party made the same unneeded promise at the last election, or we actually need it. Either way its not good for Labor.

There is still a bucket load of things you can’t get done in Canberra. It makes more sense to have one super awesome hospital close by than to have many good hospitals in very close proximity.

It makes sense to have a bigger hospital given we’re going to be a population of over 500,000 soon thanks to light rail.

Yeah there are services that are not available in Canberra, however even with a population of 500,000 (which the regional already exceeds BTW) the demand doesn’t justify the expense.

Hospitals operate in a hierarchical manner. You have the super hospitals that offer almost everything, like the Westmeads of this world, followed by regional hospitals (which Canberra is), followed by local/small suburban hospitals, like Calvary.

And where we are short of specialities, such as neurology the government has next to no control over who decides they want to work here or not.

As it is the Canberra hospital system is not short facilities, nor money. Just look at the recent and planned investments the government has and is making.

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15
chewy14 11:01 am
15 Aug 16
#

JC said :

Yeah there are services that are not available in Canberra, however even with a population of 500,000 (which the regional already exceeds BTW) the demand doesn’t justify the expense.

Not sure if you’re talking about the hospital or light rail?

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