Completion ‘imminent’, but no end in sight to bed block at Royal

Tasmanian Labor
  • Opening of redeveloped RHH has been ‘imminent’ for months
  • No commitment from the Liberals on a real opening date
  • Delays prolong chronic bed block issues
  • Redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital is now one full year past its original completion date, with no commitment from government on when it will be ready.

    Shadow Health Minister Sarah Lovell said the contracted date for completion was December 2018. This was later revised to August 2019, before a further delay to October 2019.

    “With the October deadline well and truly in the past, neither Will Hodgman nor Sarah Courtney will say when the redevelopment will actually be completed.

    “Since the end of October they’ve both repeatedly described its completion as imminent, although the Premier’s remarks note no progress on fit out for nearly a month between the end of October and the end of November.

    “Perhaps they have misunderstood the definition of imminent?”

    • Will Hodgman, 31 October: “The completion of the new K Block inpatient precinct is now imminent with final fit-out nearing completion.”
    • Will Hodgman, 12 November: “…it will be delivered by this Government imminently.”
    • Sarah Courtney, 13 November: “The completion is now imminent with the final fit-out nearing completion.”
    • Sarah Courtney, 14 November: “I am advised that completion of K Block is imminent.”
    • Will Hodgman, 26 November: “I am advised that the new K Block will be imminently completed. The final fit-out is nearing completion.”

    Ms Lovell said Sarah Courtney also needs to explain what genuinely additional capacity will become available when K block eventually opens.

    “The opening of the new K block is the only thing the Liberals have been able to point to in terms of solutions to the chronic access problems at the Royal, but they’re short on detail.

    “When people can’t be moved into the emergency department for treatment, or out of the emergency department to be admitted to the hospital, their health outcomes suffer and preventable deaths can occur.

    “More beds are needed to reduce chronic access block. Sarah Courtney says there’ll be 44 new beds in K block, but it’s far from clear whether these will be additional beds.

    “It’s well past time Will Hodgman and Sarah Courtney came clean on the reasons for the unacceptable delay in completion, provide a real timeframe for K block to open, and make it clear how many additional beds there will be.”

    Sarah Lovell

    Shadow Health Minister

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