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$100m bill for Subiaco hospital refurbishment

REFURBISHMENT works for St John of God Healthcare Subiaco could cost more than $100 million if a comprehensive cancer centre is added.

Without the cancer centre the bill runs to $78.8 million, with work to take place over the next five years.

However, if the comprehensive cancer centre is built it will add between $15 million and $20 million to the cost.

St John of God Healthcare Murdoch is also embarking on a refurbishment project for its facility, understood to be worth about $20 million, that will include two new operating theatres – adding 70 new beds – and an upgrade of its emergency department.

Tenders are yet to be called for a project manager and builder for both the Subiaco and Murdoch projects. The Subiaco works are not expected to start until October.

The first stage of the Subiaco hospital upgrade includes an ambulatory care centre, a new entry statement, new chapel, a total refurbishment of all wards, a multi-storey car park, upgrades to its obstetrics department and infrastructure improvements.

The latest tranche of works has been approved by the national St John of God Healthcare board and are only awaiting City of Cambridge approval before they can proceed.

St John of God Healthcare Subiaco CEO Neale Fong said he did not anticipate any problems in gaining council approval because the City of Cambridge had been fully briefed on the hospital’s plans.

Dr Fong said he wanted to add the Comprehensive Cancer Centre to the hospital in this stage of the refurbishment but had not been able to make a business case for it.

“The board has asked us to come back to them with a proposal and feasibility for a stand alone comprehensive cancer centre,” he said.

“We’ve proposed putting an interim cancer centre in the ambulatory care centre.”

The new ambulatory care centre will include five new operating theatres and associated recovery facilities, a day of surgery admission unit, pre-surgical admission unit, two cardiac catheter laboratories, a new endoscopy unit, a pain management centre and a cancer centre.

That will give the hospital 17 operating theatres, making it one of the most comprehensive surgical set ups of any private hospital in Australia.

The interim cancer centre will include 12 new chemotherapy chairs with access to garden courtyards, four beds and treatment and consulting rooms.

Dr Fong said the day-of-surgery admission unit would allow patients to come in on the day of their surgery, rather than the night before, as had traditionally been the case, so that they would not be occupying beds unnecessarily.

The new car park will add 480 bays, taking the hospital’s on-campus parking to about 1,500 bays.

The redeveloped entry statement will include upgrades to the hospital’s foyer and means that new retail and cafe spaces will have to be added.

Dr Fong said the hospital would be spending $6.7 million on its infrastructure upgrade alone.

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