Public Health First stands firm for hospital
Public Health First, in a recent meeting with the general manager and new project manager for Bowral Hospital's redevelopment were informed that the build is being tailored to fit into $50M.
The Minister for Health, in March this year when meeting with interested parties from Bowral indicated that he was sceptical that $50m could build what was forecast.
His scepticism, as was PHF’s, was well grounded.
An example of this pairing back to fit such a small budget is the high dependency bed numbers.
In 2011 there were eight beds.
When the new build is completed (2021 most likely) there will be eight beds!
A decade later, a growing population, a rapidly aging demographic and the bed numbers are exactly the same.
The adult bed count in 2015 was 47 beds.
By the end of the redevelopment, Stage 1, 2021 the adult bed count will be 46.
In meeting with Jai Rowell in early November, PHF was informed that there was more money forthcoming and that a public consultation process would be undertaken early next year.
This is great news and hopefully there will be an announcement of greater funding for Stage 1 of the redevelopment.
Bowral and District Hospital will celebrate 125 years of serving the community in 2018.
A community sponsored hospital right to the present day with over $150,000 donated this year alone by just two groups.
This is a hospital that has survived on community support much of the time.
Another election sweetener in 2018 will not pacify the residents of Wingecarribee Shire who believe they are getting a super-duper hospital right now.
The project manager told PHF not to rely on Stage 2 planning as there is no mention or planning for Stage 2 at this time
Where does that leave seriously ill people who rely on medical needs within the health area surrounding Bowral Hospital?
In Campbelltown or Liverpool or even Sydney!
This is why PHF again pleads for immediate, greater Stage 1 funding and again voices that enough is enough.
Fund the project to meet community needs.