Community members are having mixed reactions in the wake of the scrapping of a Public-Private Partnership proposed for Bowral and District Hospital.
While members of resident-formed action group Public Health First have been outspoken in their praise of the state government’s decision to abandon the PPP, others questioned how the decision would impact the hospital’s ability to service the future needs of the shire.
Bowral Hospital Medical Staff Council chair Dr Peter Macken, in a letter to the editor, said he and other hospital staff were dismayed by the decision. He questioned how the current upgrade plan, for which the state government has allocated $50 million, would improve services.
“Is this a hospital for the future? Mr Rowell and his government need to deliver to our community a new hospital that will meet the present and future needs of our community,” he wrote. “The current funding is inadequate, and so will be the new hospital unless funding is appropriately increased.”
At the time of the announcement, Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell told the Southern Highland News he would lobby to secure additional funding for the upgrade project. “It’s no different to what I did with Campbelltown Hospital, which was announced initial funds and lobbied for more.”
However, Bowral and District Hospital general manager Valerie Jovanovic said the government’s $50 million commitment meant an exciting time ahead for the community.
“This funding will deliver a new clinical services building with improved patient and staff amenities to continue delivering quality health services to the community,” she said.
Ms Jovanovic said the new building would include modern theatres and inpatient wards, more single patient rooms with ensuites, improved facilities for patients and staff, new medical equipment and a new main entrance to the hospital.
“We are progressing the design for the new clinical services building, with site preparation and initial work to commence later this year.”