Bunbury’s new public and private hospitals took a major step forward today with the signing of an agreement between the State Government and St John of God Hospital.
Health Minister Graham Kierath and St John of God Health Care System acting chairman Michael Quinlan signed the agreement which will form the basis for collocating the $70 million hospitals on the Edith Cowan University site.
"The one-stop health service will see the people of Bunbury and surrounding areas get the best health care that is available," Mr Kierath said.
"For agreeing to relocate to the new site, St Johns will get a one-off grant of about $5.3 million.
"But there will be major savings to Government through having all health services located on the one site, no duplication of those services and using common architects and builders."
Mr Kierath said the memorandum of understanding which would form the basis for negotiating a final combined facilities agreement had been negotiated between the Government, Bunbury Health Service Board and St John of God management.
It was expected that construction on the new site would start in January 1996 and be completed by mid-1997. The estimated cost of the public hospital with about 130 beds would be $50 million and the private hospital with about 80 beds, $19 million.
Radiology, pathology, hydrotherapy and pharmacy services would be located on the site but it had yet to be resolved which party would be the provider. A staff cafeteria would also be common to both hospitals.
Further cost savings could be generated through sharing some services with Edith Cowan University and this would be the subject of negotiation over the next year.
The public hospital section of the new complex would remain free of charge to public patients, but would provide a greater number of services than was currently available.
"This is the start of an exciting era in health care for the Bunbury region and the parties involved are to be congratulated for the co-operative way in which they have today reached agreement,” Mr Kierath said.
"For both public and private patients of the future, their standard of health care will be second to none."
Media contact: Brian Coulter 222 9595 / 481 2133