MATER SPEAKS OUT AGAINST NEW HOSPITAL PROPOSAL
Mater opposes new hospital
THE proposed Weststate Private Hospital has come under fire after Mater Health Services North Queensland claimed it would compromise its ongoing masterplan.
The Mater’s chief executive officer Gerard Wyvill spoke against the $ 55 million facility at yesterday’s Townsville City Council monthly Planning and Development Committee meeting.
The Geon Property development would see the heritage- listed former school at West End developed into a private health facility.
Mr Wyvill argued there was not the demand for the services the new hospital would offer.
“All we’re doing here is we’re going to split the market,” he said.
“All that they’re going to be doing is transferring work out of the market to another private facility.
“In reality it’s not going to be much more than a day surgery facility.
“It’s going to have a major economic impact on the delivery of acute tertiary- level private hospital services in this community.”
Geon Property managing director Ben Griffin said the new facility would benefit both hospitals.
“More competition tends to breed a bigger pie for all,” he said.
“Certainly we would like to collaborate with the Mater in attracting more health- related business to Townsville.”
During the consultation period, the council received five submissions with three objecting to the proposal, including the Mater.
The Mater’s masterplan for its Pimlico site was submitted to the council last year and detailed three decades of expansion projects including the addition of an emergency department.
The project cleared a major hurdle in May after Queensland Health approved the facility.
Mr Griffin said the Weststate hospital would focus predominantly on cardiology and orthopedic services, with 22 beds and 22 doctors.
He said it was hoped construction could start by October or November this year, with the design in advanced stages.
“The hospital is basically a specialist orthopedic, cardiology hospital – ( a) fairly narrow field,” he said.
“There are very few other specialties. When it’s complete West Private will be responsible for 2.1 per cent of total regional supply.”
Mr Wyvill said there was no demand for the two specialties the new hospital intended to focus on.
“You’ve got to look at where is this shortage of demand?” he said.
“It’s not in acute tertiary private hospital beds. It’s in rehabilitation and mental health.”
The council’s decision on the development has been referred to its meeting on August 22.
If approved, Mr Griffin said it was hoped that construction would be completed by the end of 2018.
GRAND PLANS: An artist’s impression of the proposed Weststate Private Hospital, which has been opposed by the Mater.