The long-awaited expansion to the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children has been described as ‘complicated and challenging’ by the ACT Government in Estimates Hearings today.
Originally promised to be completed in 2020-2021, it is now expected to be delivered by September 2023 at the earliest.
Shadow Minister for Health Giulia Jones said today’s admission is simply the latest excuse from Labor and the Greens for their failures to deliver their health promises which Canberrans really need.
“It’s clear this project has become too challenging for the Government to handle,” Mrs Jones said.
“Despite promises in 2017 that the expansion would be opening by now, this project which includes beds for adolescent mental health has been further delayed to late 2023, while there are families who can’t afford the high cost of private services who need it completed.
“Labor and the Greens have been talking about expanding the Canberra Hospital for over a decade. In 2008, then Health Minister Katy Gallagher described an impending “health tsunami” and in 2010 promised a major redevelopment of the Canberra Hospital.
“They promised at the 2016 election that the SPIRE Centre would be completed next year. But now, SPIRE will not be completed until 2024, or possibly even later.
“Meanwhile we do not have any hybrid operating theatres, which is a standard in tertiary hospitals all over the nation.
“The Government’s failures to deliver on their health promises has resulted in some of longest wait times in the country for emergency department treatment and elective surgery,” Mrs Jones concluded.