An additional $31million has been allocated to the new Albany Health Campus, bringing the total budget to $166million,Treasurer Troy Buswell announced today.
“This increase in funding will ensure the State Government delivers on its promise to build a new, modern and efficient hospital by 2012,” Mr Buswell said.
“As the biggest public country hospital development ever undertaken in this State, the Albany Health Campus is critical to delivering health reform in the Great Southern.
“The Government believes regional communities deserve the full benefits of new, purpose-designed facilities that provide a quality health service.
“These long term benefits can only be realised by meeting the capital cost of the new campus up-front.”
The additional funding was identified from savings on other Health capital works projects.
Construction of the health campus is scheduled to start in early 2011 and be completed late 2012, allowing the new hospital to be operational in early 2013.
Expressions of interest for the design and construction of the Albany Health Campus closed earlier this week, with a strong response from prospective contractors.
“The use of an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) model for the Albany Health Campus is an example of the more innovative approach to procurement that is a key part of the Government’s Works Reform agenda,” Mr Buswell said.
“This collaborative approach allows the State and contractor to work together in the early stages of project planning, facilitating better design innovation and understanding of construction issues.
“It is an efficient contracting model that enables projects to progress quickly to the construction stage.”
Under the ECI model, the successful contractor would work with the State’s project team to develop the initial design of the facility before making an offer to the State for the detailed design and construction.
From there the State Government can choose to take up the offer or separately tender the project with rights to make use of the initial design.
Mr Buswell also said the Department of Health was seeking interest from the private sector in providing selected health services.
“Private sector involvement in the provision of health services will enable the facility to operate more efficiently in the long term,” he said.
Health Minister Dr Kim Hames said the increased funding demonstrated the State Government’s determination to build a new hospital at Albany as a priority.
“The fast-track team we appointed to drive this project forward, is ensuring the development is on target and will be delivered on time,” Dr Hames said.
“We are also committed to ensuring that the Great Southern community is kept fully informed about the progress of their new health campus.
“The Albany Health Campus Community Reference Group has been established to provide a forum for two-way communication between the community and health service.
“The feedback and input provided via this forum will assist the project to meet local community needs.”
“In addition, an Albany Health Campus website provides the latest information about the progress of the development, including a clear outline of the building and construction timetable.”
The new Albany Health Campus will feature an improved and expanded range of services that include a bigger emergency department; more mental health beds; expanded renal dialysis capability; expanded cancer services; a new surgical centre, and upgraded obstetric and birthing suites.
When finished, the facility will be the regional resource centre for health services in the Great Southern region, servicing more than 50,000 local residents and visitors.
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