Health overhaul starts

12/03/2008 - 22:00

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The state government will pour more than $4 billion into a makeover of the health sector over the next decade, with the Fiona Stanley Hospital the standout in the overall capital works budget.

Health overhaul starts

The state government will pour more than $4 billion into a makeover of the health sector over the next decade, with the Fiona Stanley Hospital the standout in the overall capital works budget.

Planning for the $1.76 billion hospital, following a recently approved $669 million budget increase, has been in the works for around five years following the Reid Report, which recommended the reconfiguration of the health system.

Stage 1 of the Murdoch-based tertiary hospital is expected to be finalised in late 2013 and operational early in the following year, with 643 beds increasing to more than 1,000 by 2016.

The next focus for the hospital will be the awarding of the builders contract, which is scheduled for the middle of this year, with Len Buckeridge’s BGC eyeing the contract on top of its already bulging portfolio.

Meanwhile, $459 million of the health budget will head towards the expansion of Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, opening debate over the possible closure of Royal Perth Hospital.

Setting aside the tertiary hospitals, the metropolitan community at large will be serviced by four general hospitals – Joondalup, Swan, Armadale-Kelmscott and Rockingham-Kwinana – which together will hold a projected 1,333 beds by 2011, up from 733 beds in 2005.

Under the proposed reconfiguration to four general hospitals, Osborne Park Hospital will collect $79 million for Stage 1 of its re-establishment as a specialist provider focusing on rehabilitation, mental health and aged care, along with the Fremantle and Bentley Hospitals by 2011.

While the metropolitan area receives the bulk of the health sector capital works funds, four regional hospitals will receive an investment of up to $189 million collectively to transform them into regional resource centres.

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