Interview with Ted Mack, Mayor of North Sydney, Independent State and Federal Member for North Sydney – November 17, 2014

“One of the most important issues that came out of hospital design in the 1970’s, and I think ever since is the need for hospital’s to have substantial areas of land so that they can be continuously be re-developed, and this is more important in the future, because every hospital has to every 30-40 years, generally have major redevelopment because of changes in medical design of equipment and techniques and buildings. But, you have to have land available in order to build new buildings, in order to demolish old ones.

There are a number of hospitals that haven’t confirmed to this theory, and have paid the penalty.”

Join our social media campaign to #helpsaveRNSH – November 10, 2014

Once again the NSW government is trying to sell off part of the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) – specifically zone 8 which in particular, houses much-valued subsidised childcare for RNSH staff.

We are lobbying against the sale of this valuable land in order to guarantee the future of RNSH.

We invite you to join our #helpsaveRNSH social media campaign by following these 3 simple steps:

  1. Take a picture of yourself holding up a sign using the hashtag #helpsaveRNSH
  2. Share the picture on your personal social media channels, tagging your friends and family members and urging them to do the same thing
  3. Ensure you tag NSW Treasurer, The Hon Andrew James Constance MP @AndrewConstance, and NSW Minister for Health, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP @Jillian Skinner MP when leveraging your picture on social media to demonstrate that you care about the future of RNSH.

So why are we running this #helpsaveRNSH campaign? In October, 2014, we discovered an “Expression of Interest” (EOI) had been opened to private developers regarding the sale or long-term lease of part of the southern end of the RNSH campus.

This is despite almost 15,000 people petitioning against this move in 2011.

So marched on NSW Parliament and subsequently saved the hospital land for future generations. Now, we’re being forced to get back in the trenches and do it all again.

If the land in question is divested for private or commercial use, we risk the loss of critical services, such as childcare and subsidised accommodation for families and carers.

Most importantly, the hospital’s ability to grow in the future will be severely restricted.

The EOI was issued without hospital staff, patient or local community consultation.

According to Dr Adam Rehak, Chair, RNSH Medical Staff Council (MSC) and anaesthetist, Department of Anaesthestia and Pain Management, RNSH, “This is a short-term financial solution for the government, but one that has long-term implications for the functionality of the hospital, and the well-being of patients who use it.

“It clearly gives no consideration to the current population growth which will soon see the hospital bursting at the seams.”

Please show your support to help save RNSH and ensure your voice is heard, by joining our ‘#helpsaveRNSH’ campaign.

Interview with Dr Anthony Joseph – Nov 10, 2014

“You’ll find that the Lane Cove Council is seeking community input into this development, in this area, yet we’ve got the State Government wanting to sell off an acre of land from the southern campus at Royal North Shore, to put in high rises with no community consultation, it makes you wonder what’s going on in the world really.”

The cost of childcare – Edward Makepeace, Secretary NSW Nurses & Midwives Association, RNSH – Nov 10, 2014

The cost of childcare – Edward Makepeace, Secretary NSW Nurses & Midwives Association, RNSH

“The hours are friendly, and staff understand what it’s like working in a hospital. If you don’t show up on the dot of closing time or if there’s an emergency, they’ll stay and look after your kids.

“At a private centre, they’ll bill you if you don’t show up and that’s just not going to work.”

 

 

RNSH campus size – setting the record straight – Nov 10, 2014

The current campus is 14.2 hectares.

After the proposed sale, and excluding the private hospital, it is 11.0 hectares. The private hospital is not strictly a part of the public hospital campus.

After exclusion of the heritage area, it is 9.8 hectares. The heritage buildings have very limited development potential for the site.

The area being divested is approx 1.1 hectares.

The master plan claims the campus is 16.1 hectares, but this includes St Leonards Oval, which is council property. The North Sydney Council has identified St Leonards as an area with inadequate open space. It will therefore not be available for hospital expansion.

This is the Master Plan document made available to the public – Factsheet

The Master Plan gives the impression that the campus can be expanded to 33.1 hectares.

Highlights of the Master Plan include:

  • The 9 zones allow for future expansion of all services from their current area of 164,040m2 to a future clinical support areas of 331,380m2 – an increase of 100%.
  • Complete future replacement of the ASB
  • Significant expansion of ambulatory care, sub-acute, mental health and research and education spaces
  • Space for support activities such as patient and carer accommodation and family services
  • Extensive green spaces and a heritage precinct around the Vanderfield building
  • Significantly improved access to public transport with better connections across the campus to St Leonards railway
  • New opportunities for other clinical service providers.

To say that the current site is 16.2 hectares and can be expanded to 33.1 hectares is EXTREMELY MISLEADING.

The maximum size including the private hospital and heritage building is 14.2 hectares. The space available for the hospital to fulfil its clinical role as the major tertiary referral centre is closer to 9.8 hectares.

If the current divestment occurs, our generation will have sold off the best part of the campus. Flat land immediately accessible to public transport.

Please see RNSHCampusSize to find out more.

 

 

Greens move to protect public hospital land from NSW government’s $97m cash grab – Greens MP John Kaye – November 5, 2014

printGreens move to protect public hospital land from NSW government’s $97m cash grab

Media release: 5 November 2014

The Greens are calling on Health Minister Jillian Skinner to immediately halt the sale or lease of the southern campus at Royal North Shore Hospital. The community and staff must be provided with the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making about the future of the site.

A motion moved by the Greens in the NSW Upper House this afternoon expressed concern about the impacts of the proposed land divestment on health service provision and the lack of consultation with RNSH staff (see full text of motion below).

Consideration of the motion was blocked by the Government whip.

Greens NSW MP John Kaye, who moved the motion, said that the Expressions of Interest process announced by Health Infrastructure in September showed that the Liberals and Nationals government has failed to learn from the mistakes of their Labor predecessors.

Dr Kaye said: “This is history repeating itself, with appalling consequences for the Royal North Shore Hospital staff and the community.

“Health Minister Jillian Skinner’s 2011 temporary moratorium on any sale or long term lease of land at the site has come to a crashing halt.

“Predictably the Minister is blaming Labor for the decision to commence the EOI process. Through a spokesperson the government has argued that the approval for a land sale or lease to pay for the hospital’s much-needed upgrade was granted in 2006.

“The RNSH redevelopment has been one disaster after another because both governments of both sides have not adequately consulted with the people who actually work there and know what it is required.

“If there has been any budget blow-out in the RNSH re-development it certainly is not the fault of the people of NSW, but they will bear the costs of this short-sighted grab for cash.

“Selling or leasing a significant portion of public hospital land as the state faces growing health challenges made no sense in 2011 and it still doesn’t in 2014.

“Jillian Skinner will repeat her line that doctors and staff have been involved in the Masterplan discussions but she is merely obfuscating.

“The real issue is that the Medical Staff Council were not told about plans to pillage the hospital’s lands to pay for the redevelopment until the EOI process was unilaterally announced by Health Infrastructure in September.

“Doctors involved in discussions about the future of the Southern Campus were aware that commercial activity may be involved, but land divestment is a vastly different story and it should have been disclosed much earlier.

“The EOI proposal will block any future expansion of the delivery of health services on this section of the site. It will restrict further redevelopment of the site when the existing buildings reach the end of their serviceable life.

“The 2011 RNSH land sale proposal triggered community outrage. A petition of more than 14,000 signatures was debated in the Legislative Assembly of the NSW parliament.

“The Greens felt it was vital that the NSW parliament consider this latest attempt by a greedy state government to hive off sections of publicly-owned land at RNSH.

“The Greens will continue to support the Medical Staff Council’s bid to stop the EOI process from progressing and to work with the community to keep the whole of RNSH land in public hands.

“We will be calling on the Minister to stand up to NSW Treasury and its shoddy attempt to force RNSH to sacrifice its future to pay for its own redevelopment,” said Dr Kaye.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455

 

Notice of Motion: Royal North Shore Hospital Divestment

5 November 2014

Dr John Kaye to move:

1.    That this House notes that:

a.    In September 2014 Health Infrastructure announced an expression of interest process for the sale or long term (99 year) lease of the southern campus at Royal North Shore Hospital to a private developer.

b.    The call for expressions of interest sought private developers and service providers to provide office space for NSW Health and operate the support services listed in the hospital redevelopment’s masterplan including childcare and accommodation for patients, relatives and staff.

c.    The hospital’s Medical Staff Council was not informed of the expression of interest process

d.    Land divestment was not discussed with doctors during the development of the  masterplan.

e.    The Local Health District Board was not informed of the timing of the EOI process, according to a Sydney Morning Herald article dated 5 September 2014.

f.     Health Minister Jillian Skinner has indicated that

                                          i.    the NSW government is seeking $97 million from Royal North Shore Hospital to recoup some of the cost of the hospital’s redevelopment, and

                                         ii.    the plan to sell or provide a 99-year lease for the hospitals’ southern campus was approved in 2006 under the former Labor government.

g.    This is the not the first time that the Medical Staff Council at RNSH has been sidelined by a state government intent on privatising a part of the site for short-term financial gain.

h.     In 2011, RNSH staff, patients and relatives marched on NSW parliament and delivered a petition to the current Liberal Government with 14,962 signatures requesting that there be no sale of land at RNSH.

i.      The Minister responded to the 2011 petition by announcing a “freeze on land sale until a campus plan at Royal North Shore Hospital had been developed”.

j.      The Medical Staff Council at RNSH has objected to the latest proposed divestment and is calling for the EIO process to be stopped in order to keep all of the RNSH site in public hands now and into the future.

k.    NSW Treasury’s requirement that the RNSH redevelopment be paid for by selling off or divesting a portion of the site to a private developer appears to be unique to RNSH. Other upgrades to NSW public teaching and referring hospitals including Westmead and Liverpool have not been subject to the same demand.

2.    That this House expresses its opposition to the proposed divestment because:

a)    The proposal hands over a significant portion of public hospital land and vital support services to the private sector

b)    The proposal will block any future expansion of the delivery of health services on this section of the site;

c)    The NSW government has refused to listen to the community’s wishes that no land divestment take place at RNSH as expressed by the 14,962 signatures tabled in the NSW parliament in 2011; and

d)    medical and other staff at RNSH have not been consulted about the EOI process.

3.    That this House calls on Health Minister Jillian Skinner to provide the opportunity for the community to be involved in the decision-making about the future of the provision of health services at RNSH by immediately halting all processes to sell or lease the southern campus.

John Kaye

Greens NSW MP

P: (02) 9230 2668 | F: facebook.com/john.kaye.mlc | T: @johnkgreens | W: www.johnkaye.org.au

John Kaye’s office is proudly 100% unionised and union-active.

This office pays respect to the Gadigal and the other Aboriginal peoples of NSW and acknowledges their ownership of this land.