Leaked SA Health documents reveal alternative sites locations for new Women’s and Children’s Hospital
The documents show SA Health has discussed shifting the hospital to various nearby sites, including the area which houses Thebarton police barracks and horse stables.
Other options included a city block at the corner of North and West terraces, now occupied by buildings including the heritage-listed New-market Hotel, and the Parklands between the train line and River Torrens, near the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s “cheese grater” building.
SITES CONSIDERED FOR THE NEW HOSPITAL
RAH expansion zone
■ Land is already owned by the State Government.
■ No impact on parklands.
■ Optimises infrastructure at the new RAH.
■ In the critical flight path.
■ Some existing infrastructure needs to be moved.
■ Access issues to and from the site for traffic.
■ Limited carparking on site.
■ Next to railway and needs to be vibration proofed.
■ Limited outdoor space.
■ Can only include some WCH research space, no accommodation
■ Near existing health precinct.
■ Adequate land, including carparking.
■ Outside flight path, no height restrictions.
■ Well served by public transport including tram and bus.
■ Separate entry to RAH.
■ Easy access for vehicles and pedestrians.
■ Costly compulsory land acquisition needed.
■ Linkage to RAH difficult.
■ Heritage listed facilities in the footprint.
■ No access to parklands.
■ Allow for larger heights than RAH expansion zone, but still flight path-affected.
■ Large enough to fit entire WCH.
■ Within broader health precinct.
■ Close to the RAH, can be linked with air bridge.
■ Near parklands, gives patients external access.
■ Future expansion opportunities.
■ All subject to Parklands Act and legislative protection.
■ Heritage listed facilities in the area.
■ Plot A, Thebarton barracks, is used by police for training.
■ Plot B is used to keep police horses.
■ All three require air bridges to link with RAH services.
■ Within broader health precinct.
■ Too far from RAH acute services.
■ Earmarked by council for helicopter pad and tourism.
■ Access issues due to railyards.
Premier Steven Marshall was elected with a promise to build a new WCH on the RAH site by 2024, and The Advertiser yesterday published Freedom of Information documents showing senior bureaucrats this year estimated the price tag for that location at a huge $1.8 billion.
The leaked SA Health analysis finds major challenges with each proposal which include legislative bans on building on the parklands sites, land purchase costs associated with the North Tce option and general difficulties in linking the new WCH locations to the RAH.
Clinicians strongly back moving the WCH from North Adelaide to the CBD so that women with high-risk pregnancies easily access adult services at the RAH, including intensive care.
The SA Health analysis says simply putting the WCH in an “expansion zone” quarantined at the current RAH is difficult due to airport flight paths and the nearby railyards.
It is understood the leaked document was compiled before the state election.
Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade said a new task force he created to drive the move since the March election would look at the long-discussed project with fresh eyes.
It has been charged with developing a high-level master plan of the chosen site option, including construction costs and annual operating expenses for the new WCH.
Mr Wade said he couldn’t comment directly on past SA Health analysis, but his task force would “look at any site options that allow for co-location with a physical link to the RAH”.
“The site ... will be considered in the context of the overall task force recommendations, which include the services required, the space available and the overall cost,” he said.
The leaked analysis says the North Tce site over the road from the RAH has the benefit of being near the existing precinct and could be easily accessed by public transport.
However, it warns of significant cost related to compulsory land acquisition as well as heritage protections.
Three separate sites in parklands west of the RAH could be linked to that hospital with air bridges, but police functions would have to be moved and development legislation changed.
A portion of parklands near the Riverbank is considered problematic due to nearby railyards.
The Government’s preferred site, immediately west of the RAH in the quarantined expansion zone, needs expensive vibration-proofing and would have limited carparking nearby.
Opposition health spokesman Chris Picton said the Government must release all advice it had received on possible sites for the new WCH, and put cash aside in September’s State Budget.
“This is going to be a very complex project, that the Government has promised,” he said. There has clearly been a lot of work that has previously been done by the health department and by the infrastructure people in trying to work up every possible solution.
“It was very easy for the Liberal Party in opposition to promise a whole range of things.
“Just because the government changes, doesn’t mean the engineering issues do.”
Labor at the election pledged $528 million to move the women’s component of the hospital to the RAH site, with children’s services to follow later on a site to be determined.
A document on “land options” for the new WCH were discovered when processing The Advertiser’s Freedom of Information request, but kept secret as the department determined it contained commercial information and releasing it was not in the “public interest”.
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/sou ... 7268f1258d