Today’s opening of the $246 million Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building is a milestone in the life of the University of Adelaide and the health precinct.
It is also the start of the great North Terrace shuttle with students and staff being bussed back and forth to the old Royal Adelaide Hospital.
“The opening of the Medical Sciences Building also highlights just how far the new Royal Adelaide hospital is behind schedule and how the failure to deliver that project on time is adversely impacting on Adelaide’s medical community,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“When construction started on the Medical Sciences Building in 2014, the new RAH was scheduled to open in April 2016 and students and staff faced a short walk to the new RAH for their in-hospital education, training and research.
“With ongoing confusion as to when the new RAH will open, students and staff face an indefinite shuttle to the other end of town.
“There are 2000 students and staff in the Medical Sciences Building, including 400 medical and health researchers working in the building.
“Even, when the new hospital opens clinical researchers fear that the chronic lack of capacity for clinical research in the new hospital will mean that additional space will have to be found elsewhere.
“Alternatives such as the old RAH or university sites will mean the dislocation and shuttling will last for years.”
The Chair of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Committee, Professor Paul Reynolds told a Parliamentary Committee on 10 February 2017 that a lot of the clinical trial work, including trials where researchers are directly dealing with patients, has not found a home.
Professor Reynolds said that while there has been an eleventh hour effort to convert some of the education and teaching space in the new Royal Adelaide Hospital to clinical research space, the reality is it has been totally inadequate.