Progress on the re-location of the Royal Adelaide Hospital

Royal Adelaide Hospital

Royal Adelaide Hospital (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Progress on the re-location of the Royal Adelaide Hospital

Health Minister John Hill launched construction of the visionary new Royal Adelaide Hospital and South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), June 7, 2011.

The SA Health Partnership Consortium, a public-private partnership, was established with
Leighton Contractors and Hansen Yuncken (Design & Construct)
• Macquarie & Spotless (Finance & Management of non clinical services)
• Hewlett Packard (Computer Technology)

The cost for the 5 year period of construction is estimated to be $3.2 billion, with yearly repayments over 30 years of $397 million dollars. Total repayments will therefore amount to a staggering $11.91 billion, unless the term is reduced by making early repayments.

When complete it is to have 800 beds including 100 same day beds, all single rooms, 40 operating theatres, intelligent information systems, garden areas, an underground car-park for 2300 vehicles, and a commercial precinct with crèche, mini-mart, restaurant, cafes and gymnasium.

The objective is to provide Australia’s most advanced hospital, and is South Australia’s single most ambitious infrastructure project.

Article by Brett Williamson, after visit by Matthew Abraham and David Bevan from 891

An aerial picture of  the new Royal Adelaide Hospital site taken 7 June, 2012 one year after construction commenced.

The medical staff of the Royal Adelaide Hospital opposed the plan to build a completely new hospital at this site. Why would they prefer the old when offered a new home? Surely it was not to save the state money! Much more likely it was because they did not like the  location? The response would have been totally different if the government had offered the southern half of the now abandoned Victoria Park racecourse instead of derelict railway shunting yards. Government vision was to transform this problem site and to further rejuvenate the West End of the city.

As laudable as these goals are, it has not allayed the concerns of those who staff the hospital. The aerial picture taken last year shows why the site is not a good one. Fusiform in shape, it is completely isolated by three major intersecting arterial roads, Port Road, West and North Terrace, to the south, and by rail lines to the north.

• It is surrounded by road (and air) traffic noise, and rail vibration.
• It will be a glorious island of medical technological excellence well away from related institutions such as the University of Adelaide, the Medical School, the Dental Hospital, and the Institute of Medical & Veterinary Science until it too moves.
• It would need a pedestrian over-pass over busy North Terrace for safe access to the City West End.
• Access for patients, visitors, staff and service vehicles will be extremely difficult, especially in peak-hour traffic. Traffic flow would be improved by creating an exit to the north across the railway tracks.
• Even with a 2300 bay underground parking station, parking may not be adequate without additional  public parking in the adjacent C.B.D. Of course parking will be free for patients and their visitors???
• The hospital is within the entertainment precinct of the city creating concern for visitor and staff safety if on-site parking is not provided for them.

The chosen location is far from ideal for patients with excessive noise pollution, difficult access, and limited greenery to soften the harshness of the concrete buildings.

The old hospital location, close to other centres of learning and research, was nurturing for standards of patient care. This will be sorely missed when the move is made.

It is probably too late to bemoan the choice now. Building has started, and we will have to live with the government’s decision. However, it is worth noting whether our elected representatives are listening to our views.

About Kenneth Robson

I studied at Adelaide Boys' High School, and the University of Adelaide, Medical School. graduating in 1961. My field of specialisation was Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Prior to establishing my practice in Adelaide, I spent 5 years working in India, and Papua-New Guinea, in the field of reconstructive surgery for leprosy. In retirement I joined the Australian Technical Analyst Association and passed the two examinations for a Diploma inTechnical Analysis, and the designation Certified Financial Technician (CFTe) by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
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1 Response to Progress on the re-location of the Royal Adelaide Hospital

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