Health Minister Jillian Skinner seeking money from the sale of Royal North Shore Hospital land to recoup costs of hospital redevelopment
- NORTH SHORE TIMES
- OCTOBER 28, 2014
The State Government is seeking $97 million from Royal North Shore Hospital to recoup some of the cost of the hospital’s recent redevelopment.
A spokeswoman for Health Minister Jillian Skinner said the plan to sell or provide a 99-year lease for the hospitals’ southern campus was to fund some of the cost involved in the redevelopment, which included the acute services building opened in December 2012.
Senior emergency department worker Dr Justin Bowra said it was a “ridiculous” funding method.
“If the State Government is short of money, this is not what hospitals are about,” he said.
“Hospitals are there for the benefit of the community and chopping off the hospital bit by bit is going to kill the hospital stone dead.”
“Would you sell your backyard to pay one month’s worth of household bills?”.
A spokeswoman for Health Minister Jillian Skinner said a plan to part-fund the hospital redevelopment through a land sale was approved in 2006.
The decision provide unpopular among hospital staff, who mounted a campaign against the plan, culminating in a rally at Parliament House.
Minister Skinner then placed a moratorium on the sale or lease of the site until the revised master plan was completed.
“The NSW Government has funded the project cost to date and is now recovering the
sales proceeds as intended in the original government decision,” the minister’s spokeswoman said.
“The sales proceeds will be applied to rebuilding hospitals in NSW.”
Senior surgeon Dr John Vandervord said the funding method was “unusual”.
“I think it’s unusual for Treasury to be asking for money back from a hospital,” he said.
“The expressions of interest process was a surprise to use we weren’t consulted and were unable to see the paperwork done related to the decision.”
Meanwhile details on plans to develop the hospital’s southern campus have emerged, revealing two buildings on separate lots are being offered.
The details were revealed at a public meeting on the issue, held last Thursday at the hospital.
A building for commercial uses has been earmarked for the larger site fronting Reserve Rd with views to Gore Hill Oval.
A building of third of the size has been planned for the smaller site fronting Herbert St, containing a mix of commercial and hospital-related uses such as staff, patient and carer accommodation and a child care centre.
Carparking is planned to be included in both buildings.
The expressions of interest process has now been extended to close on November 20.
The expressions of interest offer was for two buildings on separate parcels of hospital land:
■ Land fronting Reserve Rd: 4,725sq m of land for a commercial building and car parking with 34,700sq m of floor space
■ Land fronting Herbert St: 3,389sq m of land for a mixed use building with carparking, commercial and health-related uses in 11,645sq m of floor space