22/10/2008 - 13:55

New committee for RPH redevelopment

22/10/2008 - 13:55

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The state government has formed a new committee to oversee redevelopment plans for Royal Perth Hospital, with Dr Peter Montgomery chairing the group.

The state government has formed a new committee to oversee redevelopment plans for Royal Perth Hospital, with Dr Peter Montgomery chairing the group.

Health Minister Kim Hames said the committee will look into suggestions made by the community.

He added that the proposed hospital redevelopment provided a unique opportunity to plan the whole RPH precinct, which currently covered five inner city blocks.

"A planning committee will oversee the precinct's development and will include the City of Perth; community representatives, independent planners and architects; and the Department of Health," Dr Hames said.

Dr Montgomery will also act in the newly created role of Director of Planning - New Royal Perth Hospital.

The Minister said Dr Montgomery's experience and expertise as Executive Director of Royal Perth Hospital meant he was ideally suited to the role.

"This position and the committee will have a key role in the design, development and commissioning of the new Royal Perth Hospital and its services, including the delivery of clinical programs and coordination with other stakeholders," he said.

Dr Hames said the RPH redevelopment would incorporate the RPH Heritage Precinct, which included the original 150-year-old hospital building and nurses' quarters on Murray Street; the original hospital kitchen; and the first purpose-built theatre building.

The State Government would also keep to its election promise of moving to immediately protect the long-term future and heritage value of the hospital by introducing into Parliament the Royal Perth Hospital Protection Bill.

"Passage of this bill will ensure that no future government will be able to close RPH as a tertiary hospital without seeking the express consent of the Parliament," he said.

"The Barnett Government had also committed $20million in its first term on planning and initial site works for a new wing."

The Minister said the precise details of services types to remain on the site were still being planned in the context of the whole of health redevelopment, including the Fiona Stanley Hospital and expansion of secondary hospitals across the metropolitan area.

"These services will determine the hospital size which is likely to be about 400 beds," he said.

"These beds will be consolidated to the north of Wellington Street allowing for redevelopment of other parts of the precinct."

Dr Hames said the Royal Perth Hospital precinct had been associated with health care in Western Australia since 1855 and had significant historic, social and economic value to the people of WA.

"It is essential that hospital care is available in the city centre and RPH is ideally located for eastern suburbs residents with an adjacent rail station and good freeway access from right across the metropolitan area," the Minister said.

"The formation of this committee is another step in demonstrating the Government's commitment to securing the future of the hospital for the people of WA."

RPH Director of Clinical Services Dr Paul Mark will act as the Executive Director of Royal Perth Hospital while Dr Montgomery takes up his new role.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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