Chief Minister Gallagher is celebrating a $200,000 donation from Woolworths for her new Women and Children’s Hospital.
“Today’s donation will be used to purchase items for our paediatrics ward, such as new play equipment for children and adolescent patients, at the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital which is currently under construction,” the Chief Minister said.
Woolworths and Paediatrics have had a very strong and successful relationship through fundraising efforts for the past 16 years during which time Woolworths has donated more than $1 million as well as thousands of dollars worth of gifts in kind.
“As part of the Fresh Food Kids Hospital Appeal run nationally in all Woolworths’ supermarkets, a weekly BBQ day at the Canberra Hospital was held again in 2011 and was thoroughly enjoyed by staff, patients and visitors.
“We are extremely appreciative of Woolworths continuing generosity and support, and indeed the support the community provides to their fundraising efforts at the Canberra Hospital,” the Chief Minister said.
The new Women’s and Children’s Hospital is part of the ACT Government’s $1 billion plus investment in our health care system – to ensure Canberrans have access to the most modern, state-of-the-art health facilities. It will see the collocation of services including Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital (PatCH), maternity services, the neonatal intensive care unit, gynaecology and fetal medicine and specialised outpatient services.
But Jeremy Hanson is not impressed by progress:
Katy Gallagher has finally admitted that the Women’s and Children’s hospital is running $20 million over budget and will be completed a year late. However, she still intends to open half of the uncompleted hospital before the ACT election this year, a similar strategy to Labor’s ‘half a road’ GDE and 2008 election stunt prison opening, according to ACT Shadow Health Minister Jeremy Hanson.
“Katy Gallagher should take direct responsibility for much of this delay and cost blow out by demanding changes be made to the design of the hospital after the project had started and following her European tour,” Mr Hanson said.
“Katy Gallagher has already delivered the fiasco of the Canberra Hospital car park which blew out from $29m to $42m and was over a year late, and has broken her promise to build a Secure Mental Health facility which was due to be completed last year, but was cancelled after costs blew out from $11 million to about $30 million.
“These projects are just the tip of the ice berg and budget papers show she has a record of failing to deliver about $60 million of planed health infrastructure each year after year.
UPDATE: 07/02/12 11:13: Chief Minister Gallagher has been moved to describe the sheer magnificence of her new hospital:
Canberrans will have access to the best facilities for women’s and children’s healthcare once the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital opens mid year, the Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said today.
Responding to constant negativity about the project from the Canberra Liberals, the Chief Minister has confirmed that every increase to the project both in scope and budget has been approved by the Legislative Assembly.
“The cost of the hospital project has been clearly identified in our budget – a budget that has been debated by the Legislative Assembly in great detail and passed by the Assembly. This information is readily available to the public and able to be scrutinised in the Budget Estimates process,” the Chief Minister said.
“We have kept the community updated about the project design and scope every step of the way,” the Chief Minister said.
The Chief Minister said the project’s budget had largely increased due to additional new features being included in the design with each additional appropriation of funding having been approved by the Assembly.