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Calvary deal falls through

By housebound - 9 February 2010 21

Well, it’s official. The Calvary sale has fallen through because one of the stakeholders (the Catholic Church) didn’t support it. Someone didn’t do their homework when setting this up.

Labor’s not happy – presumably because they aren’t used to their plans going astray. They say they’re now in a bind.

The Greens should have been breathing a sigh of relief. They had started asking for a full inquiry into hospice services (sorry, I can’t find a link for that), and many assumed they were starting to look for a way to cave into Labor (again) without loosing too much face. But no, in an amazing display of respect for property rights, they want to force a take-over, by compulsory aquisition.

What’s Your opinion?

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21 Responses to
Calvary deal falls through
miz 6:16 pm 10 Feb 10

I am supportive of building a new hospital – and I am also glad that the hospice is now out of the picture.

If people want private health care, sure, they can have it if they want it (and are prepared to pay for it). However, IMHO, religious organisations with minority views (such as LCM) should not be allowed to continue under the ‘special dispensation’ they have enjoyed within the ACT health system up till now.

Better that the money the Govt was going to ‘buy’ Calvary with goes to a new hospital that is genuinely available to all in the ACT community.

troll-sniffer 6:15 pm 10 Feb 10

What I don’t understand is the economics of what the guvmnt announced they were going to do. It was reported that they would buy the hospital for $77m and spend a further $200m to do it up.

Maybe I’ma outta touch here but I reckon you could throw up a pretty decent hospital for $277m.

Or am I dreaming?

R. Slicker 5:12 pm 10 Feb 10

Regarding the sale of Clare Holland House to the Catholics. I wonder how you’d go if you were dying of AIDS and you had to go there? Garlic and crosses I would imagine.

Tempestas 1:13 pm 10 Feb 10

Quick look at google maps tells me that Lawson, Cnr of Haydon and Ginninderra drive could be a great site for a new hospital – closer to Gunghalin and just as accesible to mostly everone else. Ucan could even establish a allied medical college and benefit as well.

Tempestas 1:06 pm 10 Feb 10

damien you make some valid points. Previous federal govt’s left us with our second (once it was third) hospital being an asset controlled by a regligious organisation, so to some extent there is some responsibility to assist in sorting it out.

As to the ACT govt borrowing money for infrastructure, sensible but I can already imagine the self-righteuous indignation about borrowing that sort of money, which is a shame as the capital cost of several hundred million for a hospital really has a 30 to 50 pay-off period, yes they are expensive to run, but I suspect if the local govt actually owned both hospitals it was running it could manage some better outcomes. Canberra is small enough that some services could easily only be at one site.

Still hopefully the Greens work out that building a new hospital is likely to be a better outcome for the ACT and LCOM can do whatever they like within the existing planning framework.

imhotep 1:04 pm 10 Feb 10

Frano said :

Cue the bigoted xenophobes……..

It’s only bigotry when your enemy isn’t on the ‘correct’ list.

Frano 12:24 pm 10 Feb 10

Cue the bigoted xenophobes……..

damien haas 12:10 pm 10 Feb 10

Youre right Tempestas. The ACT Government doesnt have the money. It always looks to the Federal government for sums of money like that required to build a new hospital or say, public transport infrastructure like light rail. The reason it does this is because unlike every other state government, it does not borrow money to fund projects. Everything the ACT government funds, comes out of its GST cut, flogging land, rates and fines (increasingly).

This stance while fiscally admirable, causes Canberrans to lose out on things like new hospitals, light rail etc. Its also the reason why we end up with sub-standard single lane roads sealed with molasses instead of asphalt when they could have been built properly in the first place (hello GDE) and why less than a year after building Glenloch interchange, we go back and have another go at it.

You can imagine my surprise when i heard the then head of ACTEW say when asked who was funding the Cotter Dam upgrade – he answered (im paraphrasing here) ‘well we figure out the cost of the program and the life of the asset and then we go to the market and borrow money to pay for it’. This is something which could apply to other infrastructure projects. i still dont know how this single project in the whole of ACT self government was funded in this way.

The other major problem with this stance is that it leads to drastic service cuts and local public service cuts whenever the government realises halfway through the financial year that people doing it tough cant pay their rates on time and the government is running short of money.

Its not a sustainable financial policy. Its the same as me telling you that you cant buy a house unless you pay the full price right now. Most people take out a mortgage with a payment plan they can manage. Infrastructure like hospitals and light rail shouldnt depend on how many vacant blocks of land in forde have been flogged this year.

This policy means that there is no ability to do real strategic planning. At best, only short term planning can be achieved. I note that the government are paying an accounting form millions to tell it how it can save millions. i hope they provide some advice on long term financial planning.

Tempestas 10:41 am 10 Feb 10

Lets hope the Govt decides on a new hospital in the vicinity but I suspect I can already hear the Bruce NIMBY’s forming their action group.

I suspect the problem will the the ACT Government won’t have the hundreds of millions required to build a new functional hospital northside, but finding a site and getting it started has got to be a great idea.

Either way it will be ACT taxpayers who end up footing the bill

Bosworth 10:16 am 10 Feb 10

How sad, but predictable, of the Catholic Church to put their own interests ahead of the communities that they ‘serve’.

The cat did it 11:48 pm 09 Feb 10

I-filed- as i recall, back in the Fraser years, when Canberra was administered by the Commonwealth, the Secretary of the Prime Ministers Department (can’t remember if it was Geoffrey Yeend or Alan Carmody) was a Vatican enthusiast, and vigorously championed the LCM’s interest in establishing themselves in a hospital in the new urban development of Belconnen. You don’t have to be a Canberra political cynic to suspect that this support in high places was probably also a significant factor in establishing the very favourable financial arrangements that the LCM enjoys.

Like other religions, the Roman Catholic Church is losing relevance in today’s increasingly secular world, but one of the principal ways it can stay in the game is by being a service provider- hence its efforts to avoid selling Calvary, and at least to hold on the its role at Clare Holland House. LCM is torn between its role as a commercially based service provider, and its religious loyalties, but the Australian RC Church itself follows the directions of Pope Anchluss I, or what ever his name is …

TP 3000 10:42 pm 09 Feb 10

I would of thought that The LCM should of found out the process of selling the hospital when the proposal was first put forward. This would of stopped all this fuss & by now a new plan could of been worked out. But we now must suffer through months of dragged out babble about what the ACT Government can do.

MrPC 9:57 pm 09 Feb 10

Now the government can spend the money it had planned to use on buying those run down old buildings with the crucifixes everywhere, and instead spend it on new buildings next door in a new northside public hospital.

The government then gets to stop paying the Little Company of Mary for every billable service that LCOM provides to public hospital patients.

If the Little Company of Mary then wants to continue trading, they can then convert half of the old hospital into a private hospital and set aside the remainder for hospice/palliative care services.

Everybody wins that way. Non-Catholics will still be welcome at Clare Holland House, the LCOM gets to diversify the exact same way that it wanted to do so after the sale (albeit without having the hassle of moving site) and Non-Catholics will have a northside hospital to go to without the uncomfortable feeling of being surrounded by the trappings of superstition over science.

I-filed 9:17 pm 09 Feb 10

How did Canberra’s second public hospital facilities fall into Catholic hands in the first place? The government should stop all funding to Calvary and build a secular public hospital. Does Calvary still have Catholic crucifixes and things all over the walls? Shiver.
Selling Clare Holland to the Catholic church has always been a totally unacceptable option.

How does Calvary deliver public health services that are not skewed by Catholic doctrine and teachings? Does the contract with the ACT Government require women’s health services to be according to a woman’s own wishes – and include contraception and legally sanctioned early-term abortion – rather than those of the Catholic Church?

Fiona 7:37 pm 09 Feb 10

Glad I’m southside and am unlikely to go to a catholic hospital.

Hopefully by the time I’m old enough to be in a hospice, it’ll either be secular or they’ll have turned me into a robot.

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