Coast politicians slam government for hospital opening delay
SUNSHINE Coast State politicians have come out firing at the announcement the Sunshine Coast University Hospital opening will be delayed for five months.
Both Member for Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie and Member for Caloundra, Mark McArdle have issued press releases blaming the Labor Government for the new delay.
Mr McArdle, the Shadow Health Minister, said under the LNP the hospital was "on time and on budget".
"It is obvious this latest admission of poor performance is a result of increasing external pressure to come clean, rather than telling the community up front that the project had significantly fallen behind," he said.
"Once again the Government has turned their back on the people of the Sunshine Coast, many of whom will find today's news devastating, as they face an extra five long months of travel to and from Brisbane for medical treatments.
"Common sense tells us that a project of this size isn't delayed by five months because of flooring and doors.
"We are now told it is related to medical equipment and information technology. A new excuse. This hospital has been in planning for years and this is simply a nonsense excuse."
Mr McArdle said the Health Minister had to detail the full reason for the delay.
Mr Bleijie also called on the government to give an explanation.
"The Palaszczuk Labor Government inherited a project that was on track to open in November and on budget," he said.
"In just over twelve months Minister Cameron Dick has managed to bungle this $2 billion project so badly that they need another five months just to open the doors.
"There are still so many unanswered questions… What has this Labor Government been doing? Why is there a five month delay? Why have staff not been recruited? "
IT''S official - the offical opening of the Sunshine Coast University Hospital will be delayed by five months.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick said the delay would ensure the hospital could be commissioned "in a clinically safe manner".
"I am advised that the board has identified a new target date for opening in April 2017 and that this date will be monitored based on progress over the coming months," he said.
"I am advised that the board considered a range of information in coming to this decision including an assessment of the program of works completed by the Sunshine Coast University Hospital Program Team and advice from the Independent Commissioning Adviser.
"I am advised that this decision also has the support of senior clinical staff within the HHS.
"I support the Board's decision."
Mr Dick said the safety commencement of clinical services was the priority and the government would not be rushed into an opening date that placed stress on staff and raised the clinical risk for patients.
"Delays of this nature, in complex multi-year construction programs are not new," he said.
"The last two major hospitals opened in Queensland by the previous LNP Government were the Gold Coast University Hospital and the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital.
"The opening of the Gold Coast University Hospital was delayed by six months and the opening of the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital was delayed by nine months.
"I have asked the Sunshine Coast Board to continue to keep me closely advised on developments."
Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie has slammed the decision to delay opening the hospital.
Mr Bleijie said Labor had a shocking track record with the $2 billion project, including years of delays and uncertainty from the former Beattie and Bligh Labor Governments.
"Minister Dick has refused to answer questions and continued to keep locals in the dark over potential delays to the much needed hospital," he said.
Mr Bleijie said the Labor Government inherited the hospital project when it was on track to open in November, on budget.
"There are still so many unanswered questions," he said.
"What has this Labor Government been doing? Why is there a five month delay? Why have staff not been recruited?"