Fact sheet fail sparks hospital delay fears
CONCERNS are growing over the rollout of the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital after an online fact sheet outlining the timelines was pulled down.
The removal came just weeks after a typo was blamed for incorrect timelines being displayed on the fact sheet, sparking fears important future stages will be delayed further.
The Sunshine Coast University Hospital Project Agreements Summary tabled in State Parliament back in April, 2013, said the new hospital would open with 450 beds in late-2016 and grow to a 738-bed facility by 2021.
The hospital's Stage 1 official opening was eventually delayed until April, 2017.
The summary also stated further fit-out works on Stage 2 and 3 would be undertaken in 2018 and 2021, with those stages to "reach completion" on June 30, 2018 and June 30, 2021 respectively.
In September Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service chief executive Adjunct Professor Naomi Dwyer said there was "no delay" and that capital works for Stage 2 and 3 would be finished by December, 2018 and December, 2021.
Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie was concerned by what he said appeared to be delays of at least six months, from the original partnership summary documents.
He said it was deceiving to blame a typo on the fact sheets when the stages had been set out "years ago".
"The opening of the next stages shouldn't be delayed, they should be brought forward," he said.
"I don't expect it will be just a six-month delay."
In August Health Minister Dr Steven Miles attributed a $30.7 million underspend in the Stage 2 budget to delays in the roll-out and unspent project contingency.
The fact sheet in question has been removed altogether from the Queensland Health website since late-September.
That fact sheet said planning for cardiac surgery and neurosurgery would happen in 2017 and those services would start from 2018.
Prof Dwyer said there'd been a "human error some years ago" when transcribing information in a SCUH fact sheet in a one-off publication error in materials prepared prior to SCUH's opening.
She said there had been no delay to construction and fit out works for Stage 2, which were completed by June 30.
She said planning for Stage 2 clinical services commencement was "well advanced" and cardiac surgery was due to start in 2019, along with increased capacity to care for "sicker and younger babies" from January next year.