Fiona Stanley Hospital delayed

What they promised

Western Australia’s newest public hospital is due to open in 18 months on time and on budget

- Troy Buswell, 1 October 12

What they say now

Dr Hames said the opening had been rescheduled from April 2014 because of the scale and complexity of the project

- Kim Hames (Media Release), 10 June 2013

31 Jul 2013 - The Barnett Government had stated repeatedly that Fiona Stanley Hospital would open in April 2014, including in the lead up to the 2013 election. They have now revised that time frame and the hospital will not be fully operational until April 2015.

During the 2013 State Election campaign the Minister for Health Kim Hames committed to an opening date for Fiona Stanley Hospital of April 2014. These comments appeared in a Ministerial media statement made by the Minister on the 14 January 2013. This follows on from similar comments made by the Treasurer, Troy Buswell in late 2012.

In June 2013, post the election Kim Hames announced that the opening of the hospital would be delayed for 6 months when it would only be partially opened. He also indicated that the hospital would not be fully operational until April 2015, one year after the initial opening date.

While the construction of the hospital is on time, the delay is being caused by setbacks in implementing the information and communication technology.

As a consequence of this delay the WA tax payer may be forced to pay undefined costs to Serco.

Serco is a multinational corporation who were awarded a $4.3 billion contract to run all non-clinical services at the new hospital after the Barnett Government made a decision to privatise these services. The terms of the contract specify that Serco is to commence running the hospital in April 2014.

‘In November 2010, hospital executive director Brad Sebbes said delaying its opening beyond April next year would cost between $250,000 and $400,000 a day.' (10 June 2013 West Australian p3)

The Barnett Government has indicated that they are in discussions with Serco in an attempt to mitigate these additional costs. However there is no evidence to indicate that these discussions have resulted in a favourable outcome for the WA tax payer.

Questions have also being raised about when the Minister knew about the delays. In July 2013, while being questioned by the education and health standing committee of Parliament, Health Department representatives revealed that they had known of the delays since November 2012. This matter will be examined in more detail by the committee in the near future.