South Australians will start handing over a million dollars a day for use of the nRAH from midnight tonight despite the fact the hospital will stand empty until at least the 5th of September.
The 90-day technical completion period ends tonight and under the terms of the contract the South Australian taxpayer becomes liable for payments of one million dollars a day for the next 30 years.
“The nRAH is already $640 million over budget and 14 months overdue as a result of the Weatherill Government’s abject failure to properly manage this critical project,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.
“South Australians will now pay at least another $91 million for the nRAH before the hospital opens.
“The $91 million bill for an empty hospital will leave South Australian taxpayers $734 million poorer than they would have been if the Weatherill Government had managed to bring this project in on time and on budget.
“Despite the enormous cost of paying for an empty hospital it’s critical that the Weatherill
Government doesn’t compromise patient safety by forcing a move during the flu season.
“Health Minister Jack Snelling needs to confirm that he won’t be putting South Australian patients at risk by forcing the NRAH to open during the flu season.”
In 2015 the Health Minister explicitly ruled out opening the new hospital in winter, admitting that it would be “foolhardy and dangerous” to do so (The Advertiser, 18 September 2015).
“A continuing surge in the number of flu patients this year should be setting off alarm bells for Jack Snelling,” said Mr Wade.
“Flu notifications are running at double the rate of the five year average for this time of the year.
“The move of the Royal Adelaide Hospital to its new site will be a complex and demanding enough without increasing the dangers it presents to patients by forcing that move to occur during the flu season.”