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So it begins … with a $650m Labor hospital plan

By Charlotte Harper - 9 September 2016 11

Map showing planned SPIRE building

Labor will open the election campaign proper with a bang today, making a $650 million promise for a new building at the Canberra Hospital and additional health services for women and children.

The commitment, which it will announce at midday, includes the building of a new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre on the Woden campus, with a new Emergency Department, elective and day surgical spaces, and 1,200 medical, nursing, allied health and support staff.

The centre would begin operation in “around 2022”, according to a Labor Party statement on the election promise.

A re-elected Labor government would also invest in growing the capacity of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, funding new staff and services including more than 107 additional medical professionals. They would provide a new elective child and adolescent orthopaedic service, a specialised adolescent gynaecology service to reduce the need for young women and girls to travel to Sydney for treatment, a new 12-bed child and adolescent mental health unit, 12 new paediatric high-dependency units and four paediatric intensive care beds.

The Canberra Liberals have previously announced their own plan for a new building at the Canberra Hospital as well as for two new hospitals at Gungahlin and Tuggeranong.

The SPIRE Centre would expand the Canberra Hospital’s theatre capacity from 13 to 20 theatres and offer enhanced, state-of-the-art surgical, procedural, critical care and imaging facilities; two inpatient wards with 64 beds for patients requiring overnight care; dedicated theatres for emergency surgery and elective surgery, so that elective surgeries are not delayed or cancelled as a result of emergency surgery; a new coronary care unit for people requiring high level care for heart conditions with 24 beds; a new intensive care unit with 48 bed bays, offering both high dependency and intensive care beds and beds dedicated to paediatric care; and a new day surgery centre with seven procedure rooms designed for patients who can be admitted and discharged within 24 hours.

An expanded new general Emergency Department adjacent to the SPIRE Centre would allow for the current ED to be dedicated to women and children with specialist staff. The two EDs would operate as one, but with separate entrances to provide the best patient and family experience.

Two family violence risk assessment suites would also be built to provide safe and confidential care for women and children who have been victims of violence.

Labor would also establish a new Family Assistance Fund to provide financial support for parents to be with their child when visiting hospitals interstate.

According to the statement, Labor has spent $1 billion on health infrastructure since 2009.

“Unlike the Canberra Liberals’ plan, which is five years’ old, the SPIRE Centre and expanded services for women and children reflect best practice in modern hospital design and delivery,” the document reads.

“Healthcare has always been a priority for ACT Labor. That’s why we are already expanding the emergency department, building a new teaching hospital and will build two new nurse-led Walk in Centres in Gungahlin and Weston Creek to provide free medical advice and treatment for people with minor illness and injury.”

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10 Responses to
So it begins … with a $650m Labor hospital plan
1
rommeldog56 8:05 am
09 Sep 16
#

Is there any explanation from ACT Labor/Greens or Liberals about how their respective election promises re hospitals will be paid for ? Given that the ACT territory budget is deeply in deficit, maybe RiotACT could keep an ACT election promises spend-a-thon meter ?

I’m certainly not convinced by the Libs plan – but at least I think they said that it would be funded from savings from scrapping the tram.

Re Labors plan. How much more can they fit onto the Canberra Hospital site ? Its pretty crammed in now and Canberras population is growing. This is the mob that oversought the degradation of Canberra Hospital to be one of the worst performing in the country, despite the b$1 they claim in the OP to have spent on “Health Infrastructure” (how ever that’s defined ?) since 2009. + not to mention the rigging of stats during that period. How to fund please Labor ? Hit up Ratepayers with a Hospital/Health Levy on their Annual Rates bills perhaps ?

2
JimCharles 8:08 am
09 Sep 16
#

So this is the pre-existing plan that was put on hold last year causing the hospital campus to go into freeze mode, because of the tram?
Whichever party gets into power has to do this, it’s not worthy of an election tit for tat; this is how previous problems at the hospital have started because of political promises and irresponsibility when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is and actually understanding what is to be achieved and how much that will cost.
The old building in the middle has been slated for demolition for years, was emptied a year ago and hasn’t been maintained. It has to go asap because it is not fit for purpose.
What is needed is political maturity, capable business leadership, adequate funding, message consistency, crystal clear and timely decision-making, enhanced and suitable design and project management to provide a functional building putting technological excellence at it’s core which can then be transparently measured to prove the benefits of investment.
All these things have been lacking in ACT Health and Canberra politics for years and they are a rag tag bunch of splintered stakeholders, some of them amateurs, pulling against each other and not delivering excellence as a professional organisation.
They need a clear out, then a clear structure, clear governance, a clear strategic plan, a clear business case, a clear brief, a capable team, then a capable building partner. These are critical areas that have not been up to scratch.
If they can’t make or maintain that, the money won’t provide the benefits the politicians are promising, so the politicians have to fund that hole as well and the Government needs to pull it’s socks up and deliver a better product.
Collectively (whichever party wins) they must do a better job and that must start from the top down immediately.

3
gooterz 8:55 am
09 Sep 16
#

Why do women and children need their own ed. Are women that sensitive that they avoid hospital because there might be injured men there? Which seems crazy in itself as husbands would usually attend.

Men already have far worse health outcomes because they are more reluctant to seek medical attention. What more to reinforce that by building more women only services.

4
John Moulis 9:28 am
09 Sep 16
#

To quote John Singleton’s classic ad from the 1987 election, “Where’s the money coming from?”

5
HiddenDragon 12:20 pm
09 Sep 16
#

Last month, Labor questioned the need for a new hospital building and wanted to know how the Liberals would find the $400m to pay for their proposal –

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-10/canberra-liberals-pledge-400-million-for-new-hospital-building/7711656

Since then, we’ve had the Labor/Green promise of a Woden tramline (with more lines to come, apparently) and now this $650m. health promise – which sounds very nice – but voters deserve to be told clearly how it can be paid for without rates and other taxes rising much, much higher than already planned.

6
creative_canberran 7:34 pm
09 Sep 16
#

gooterz said :

Why do women and children need their own ed. Are women that sensitive that they avoid hospital because there might be injured men there? Which seems crazy in itself as husbands would usually attend.

Men already have far worse health outcomes because they are more reluctant to seek medical attention. What more to reinforce that by building more women only services.

Big cities tend to have womens and childrens hospitals. Only down side is dented male pride apparently.

Anyway this is a bad play by Labor. Whatever the merits of the announcement, it looks like a “me too” and reactionary to the Libs.

7
TuggLife 8:00 pm
09 Sep 16
#

gooterz said :

Why do women and children need their own ed. Are women that sensitive that they avoid hospital because there might be injured men there? Which seems crazy in itself as husbands would usually attend.

Men already have far worse health outcomes because they are more reluctant to seek medical attention. What more to reinforce that by building more women only services.

I don’t think it works like that. It’s paediatrics – which requires specialist skills. It’s often “women and children” because in the early days, the two can’t really be separated.

8
gooterz 10:47 pm
09 Sep 16
#

creative_canberran said :

gooterz said :

Why do women and children need their own ed. Are women that sensitive that they avoid hospital because there might be injured men there? Which seems crazy in itself as husbands would usually attend.

Men already have far worse health outcomes because they are more reluctant to seek medical attention. What more to reinforce that by building more women only services.

Big cities tend to have womens and childrens hospitals. Only down side is dented male pride apparently.

Anyway this is a bad play by Labor. Whatever the merits of the announcement, it looks like a “me too” and reactionary to the Libs.

Seems a fair amount is wasted on ‘family violence’, I can see a need for maternity and children, however why group pregnant ladies with young kids, why not separate out the children from the screaming women? There is a huge bias in many things that relate to children in that there is the assumption that the mothers will be the care givers.

Couldn’t it be more like an airport lounge where everyone enters in the same area but Qantas checkin is just down from jetstar etc.

The notion of special doctors is also odd, its one hospital. Should be trying to efficiently use money than blowing another 600 million.

“Only down side is dented male pride apparently”
Its no wonder male health outcomes are far lower than female ones.

9
JC 12:00 am
10 Sep 16
#

rommeldog56 said :

Is there any explanation from ACT Labor/Greens or Liberals about how their respective election promises re hospitals will be paid for ?

Given that the ACT territory budget is deeply in deficit, maybe RiotACT could keep an ACT election promises spend-a-thon meter ?

I’m certainly not convinced by the Libs plan – but at least I think they said that it would be funded from savings from scrapping the tram.

Re Labors plan. How much more can they fit onto the Canberra Hospital site ? Its pretty crammed in now and Canberras population is growing. This is the mob that oversought the degradation of Canberra Hospital to be one of the worst performing in the country, despite the b$1 they claim in the OP to have spent on “Health Infrastructure” (how ever that’s defined ?) since 2009. + not to mention the rigging of stats during that period. How to fund please Labor ?

Hit up Ratepayers with a Hospital/Health Levy on their Annual Rates bills perhaps ?

How to find Liberal too.

The problem for the Libs using cancelation of light rail is two fold. Firstly the break clause will come close (according to the government) to the only one off payment the government is making for light rail. So basically no saving what so ever. The second issue is light rail is a PPP which is being funded over 20 years. So again not easy to reclaim any supposed saving to offset new spending commitments especially capital commitments.

Personally don’t support the Canberra hospital proposal by either party. The Libs are using it as wedge politics and now labor is copying. Discraceful on both sides on this issue.

10
dungfungus 9:26 am
10 Sep 16
#

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

Is there any explanation from ACT Labor/Greens or Liberals about how their respective election promises re hospitals will be paid for ?

Given that the ACT territory budget is deeply in deficit, maybe RiotACT could keep an ACT election promises spend-a-thon meter ?

I’m certainly not convinced by the Libs plan – but at least I think they said that it would be funded from savings from scrapping the tram.

Re Labors plan. How much more can they fit onto the Canberra Hospital site ? Its pretty crammed in now and Canberras population is growing. This is the mob that oversought the degradation of Canberra Hospital to be one of the worst performing in the country, despite the b$1 they claim in the OP to have spent on “Health Infrastructure” (how ever that’s defined ?) since 2009. + not to mention the rigging of stats during that period. How to fund please Labor ?

Hit up Ratepayers with a Hospital/Health Levy on their Annual Rates bills perhaps ?

How to find Liberal too.

The problem for the Libs using cancelation of light rail is two fold. Firstly the break clause will come close (according to the government) to the only one off payment the government is making for light rail. So basically no saving what so ever. The second issue is light rail is a PPP which is being funded over 20 years. So again not easy to reclaim any supposed saving to offset new spending commitments especially capital commitments.

Personally don’t support the Canberra hospital proposal by either party. The Libs are using it as wedge politics and now labor is copying. Discraceful on both sides on this issue.

But you will still vote Labor, eh?

11
JC 9:05 am
11 Sep 16
#

dungfungus said :

JC said :

rommeldog56 said :

Is there any explanation from ACT Labor/Greens or Liberals about how their respective election promises re hospitals will be paid for ?

Given that the ACT territory budget is deeply in deficit, maybe RiotACT could keep an ACT election promises spend-a-thon meter ?

I’m certainly not convinced by the Libs plan – but at least I think they said that it would be funded from savings from scrapping the tram.

Re Labors plan. How much more can they fit onto the Canberra Hospital site ? Its pretty crammed in now and Canberras population is growing. This is the mob that oversought the degradation of Canberra Hospital to be one of the worst performing in the country, despite the b$1 they claim in the OP to have spent on “Health Infrastructure” (how ever that’s defined ?) since 2009. + not to mention the rigging of stats during that period. How to fund please Labor ?

Hit up Ratepayers with a Hospital/Health Levy on their Annual Rates bills perhaps ?

How to find Liberal too.

The problem for the Libs using cancelation of light rail is two fold. Firstly the break clause will come close (according to the government) to the only one off payment the government is making for light rail. So basically no saving what so ever. The second issue is light rail is a PPP which is being funded over 20 years. So again not easy to reclaim any supposed saving to offset new spending commitments especially capital commitments.

Personally don’t support the Canberra hospital proposal by either party. The Libs are using it as wedge politics and now labor is copying. Discraceful on both sides on this issue.

But you will still vote Labor, eh?

And you will still vote liberal too, right?

I don’t vote on single issues I look at the complete picture. I would be surprised if anyone agrees 100% with every single policy either party has on offer. If someone did they would be a fool or easily let. “Put your head in the fire, sure no problem.” Yeah no I don’t think like that.

Anyway complete picture is why I am so, as you would put it rusted to the left. Overall they are the party that has and continues to represent what I value in society. It would take a bit to change my mind.

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