Cri­sis casts its shadow

De­spite the hos­pi­tal’s bright fu­ture

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS -

THE New South Wales Op­po­si­tion has la­belled the al­lo­ca­tion in this week’s bud­get of $2.5 mil­lion to the new Tweed Hos­pi­tal as a “cruel hoax”.

NSW Shadow Health Min­is­ter Walt Secord said the com­mu­nity had been de­ceived af­ter just a week ear­lier be­ing promised a new half-a-bil­lion-dol­lar green­field site hos­pi­tal.

The State Govern­ment last week an­nounced $534 mil­lion would be spent on a new green­field hos­pi­tal in the Tweed but bud­get pa­pers this week showed just $2.5 mil­lion had been set aside in the 2017–18 fi­nan­cial year.

“We’ve all been de­ceived over the last fort­night about spend­ing on hos­pi­tals. When you look at the bud­get to­day we learn that none of the up­grades will be de­liv­ered un­til the mid-2020s – it’s a cruel hoax,” Mr Secord said.

“I will be a grand­fa­ther by the time the Tweed Hos­pi­tal is com­pleted.”

Tweed MP Ge­off Provest said the fig­ure was ac­cu­rate but claimed it did not con­sider the over­all bud­get.

“The $2.5 mil­lion is for plan­ning but what he’s not say­ing is in the whole bud­get there is $534 mil­lion,” he said.

“The clin­i­cians have got to fin­ish off the clin­i­cal care plan, which will take about 12 months to do.”

Mr Provest said he ex­pected a new green­field site to be found and bought within a year, with ad­di­tional money avail­able from trea­sury if needed.

The Tweed Hos­pi­tal Med­i­cal Staff Coun­cil wel­comed the bud­get an­nounce­ment and con­firmed plan­ning costs were ex­pected to be the ma­jor out­lay in the next 12 months.

How­ever MSC co-chair Dr Mike Lind­ley-jones said the hos­pi­tal des­per­ately needed the $48 mil­lion pre­vi­ously promised to the ex­ist­ing site to ad­dress the cur­rent cri­sis.

“We need those tem­po­rary mea­sures for the hos­pi­tal,” he said.

“The plans is to put in two new theatres, an ex­tra ward, four HDU beds, in­crease the size of the emer­gency depart­ment.

“This is be­cause we’ve left it so late to do the re­build, which will take five years, and we can’t get through the next five years with­out more space in our hos­pi­tal.

“So we’re go­ing to put tem­po­rary struc­tures in the car park. That is those pop-up mea­sures that we an­tic­i­pate be­ing in place for five years.”

PHOTO: SCOTT POWICK

LOOK­ING AHEAD: Dr Robert Davies, Dr Sarah Lim­bourn, Dr Mike Lind­ley-jones and Dr Alas­dair Arthur from the Tweed Hos­pi­tal, which was al­lo­cated just $2.5 mil­lion in the 2017–18 State Bud­get.

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