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Third hospital for Canberra?

By emd 13 June 2007 17

ABC News is abuzz with talk of a third hospital to be built in Canberra.

ABC News Online reports that:
* Katy Gallagher has proposed a third hospital to provide more elective surgery and cater for our ageing population.
* Dr Foote from AMA has questioned the proposal, suggesting that we could use our existing operating theatres more efficiently, especially with the shortage of nurses to staff a third hospital.
* Russell McGowan from ACT Healthcare Consumers Association is also unconvinced, as we could be doing a better deal to share facilities with Queanbeyan Hospital, or provide more day-surgery and outpatient services instead.

Katy Gallagher has put out a media release about the high rates of elective surgery happening in the ACT. Apparently it’s a good thing that we’re getting so many surgeries done.

I wonder if Mr McGowan has a point in that we might see less demand on acute hospital services if we had more services that can treat injuries/illness before they get bad enough to warrant a stay in hospital?

There was a Health subcommittee in 2004 that recommended a second midwifery birthing centre in Canberra – which has never happened. We have one of the lowest levels of bulk-billing and fewest GPs for population in Australia. I wonder how a third hospital would meet these community needs?

What’s Your opinion?

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Third hospital for Canberra?
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Silverback 12:16 am 15 Jun 07

It depends on how you view the future delivery of health care. Modern architectural design, greater use of private sector providers, specialised surgery centres and greater focus on primary health can all help in the future to provide the types of services which are going to be necessary in the future. A monolithic 3rd hospital is unlikely to be the solution. I still think that a third hospital may help, but it is more likely to be to deal with the projected spike in geriatric requirements that is now starting to be noticed in the Canberra community.

caf 4:39 pm 14 Jun 07

Well if you include private hospitals then there’s at least 4 (you forgot NCPH).

Jazz 2:26 pm 14 Jun 07

um, dont we already have 3 hospitals. TCH, John James and Calvary. i’m pretty sure i can count to 3.

It would be quite different to say we need a 3rd PUBLIC hospital.

sepi 10:57 am 14 Jun 07

I have a radical idea for attracting more nurses.
They should keep nurses doing medical and caring type work, and employ some cheaper unqualified people to do stuff like changing sheets, rinsing out baby bottles and hand washing baby clothes.

Al 10:13 am 14 Jun 07

I think near the Federal Highway north of Epic – in the suburb to be named Kenny – would be a good location. Gungahlin employment, highway access, access for north Canberra, biggest growth area. Better access for evacs from Yass and Goulburn, etc etc

Mr Evil 9:42 am 14 Jun 07

If they close a few more schools, then they might be able to afford it!

roccon 6:24 am 14 Jun 07

my guess is that Calvary may go Private only. Hence the “third” (really second) hospital talk.

emd 12:25 am 14 Jun 07

Opposition, government… they all seem to have the same inability to plan beyond the next election.

simbo 10:51 pm 13 Jun 07

Well, a different government imploded the hospital to the one that wants to build one (the ones that imploded it would have been, oh, the people who are currently in opposition).

miz 10:04 pm 13 Jun 07

When I heard this I thought (apparently along with all Canberra by the looks of this blog), DER, didn’t we just implode one????????? This govt is just DERRRRING to the MAX. I expect in ten years they will say, hey, I think we need, oh, about 23 new schools . . . .

dusty 8:39 pm 13 Jun 07

Don’t gey me started on this one. Yep soulman, I said that 16 years ago when I went off duty at the old Royal Canberra Hospital for the very last time, I knew it was a bad move and that Canberrans were majorly ripped off bad by that deal.
I also later had a weird premonition that the implosion was going to cause DEATH and so told everyone I knew not to go, and even packed up my kids and left Canberra for the whole weekend.
And ‘we’ gave that magic Acton site away in exchange for the dirty and polluted Kingston foreshore.
Wow that was a really good idea, NOT!
Do you have to be a complete idiot to be a politician, or just have only half a brain ?

el 7:41 pm 13 Jun 07

I don’t think it’s that bad an idea – I reckon a perfect location would be Acton, right next to the ANU and the city centre.

soulman 7:17 pm 13 Jun 07

good point jenna. The Old Royal Canberra looked dated, but a few million to update would have seen it in service today I bet. Now we need a third hospital, how much do hospitals cost? A lot more than renovating an existing one no doubt.

HL 5:04 pm 13 Jun 07

At least Katy finally admits there’s a problem that adding a few beds isn’t going to fix.

But how can anyone from the AMA suggest having theatres open later? That just means more work for already exhausted and overworked doctors.

Actually I think having a third hospital could help.
One big problem with TCH that I’ve experienced, is that it’s so big that communication between areas is slow to non-existant. Such demand on one hospital just isn’t manageable…

jenna 4:55 pm 13 Jun 07

We had a third hospital but the government blew it up with tragic consequences… was built to last.

However we should be spending more money on keeping people out of hospital by improving access to preventative medicine and lifestyle.

emd 4:41 pm 13 Jun 07

I was thinking the same thing Tack… the biggest problem with Woden Hospital (where I have spent far too much time in the last few years) is not the hospital buildings. It’s that nurses and doctors are run off their feet servicing the beds they already have.

Tack 3:38 pm 13 Jun 07


Until (very) recently I worked in the hospital system.

We can’t get enough specialist Doctors, can’t get enough trained Nurses…… Funding AND administration is poor. NOW they think they can get a 3rd hospital into the system?

No doubt it will create jobs for another 200 administrators….

Tell ’em there dreamin’ love.

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