THE future of the Griffith Community Private Hospital is unclear and the Griffith mayor has reached his “wit’s end” trying to get a commitment from St Vincent’s Private and Mater Hospitals.
Last December, Councillor John Dal Broi told The Area News St Vincent’s and Griffith City Council would sign the dotted line on the lease for the city’s first private hospital in a matter of weeks, but nearly eight months later, the mayor is feeling the heat from concerned locals.
The delay has been caused by protracted negotiations between St Vincent’s and the board of the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) surrounding the division of services between the new development and the existing Griffith Base Hospital.
Cr Dal Broi wasn’t prepared to name which party was to blame for the setback, but feared the Commonwealth Government would get cold feet and withdraw its funding if the stalemate wasn’t resolved quickly.
“My reputation is on the line for as long as we don’t have a signature on the lease and we’re at our wit’s end,” Cr Dal Broi said.
“Over the past 12 months, I’ve given the community dates and set time frames for when things would be finalised, but they haven’t happened.
‘It leaves me open to criticism of peoplewho ask if I’m genuine that the lease willever be signed.
“I’m confident it’s going to happen, I justwish they’d get their act together.
“I have to ask the question – isMurrumbidgee Local or St Vincent’s holdingthis up. Both say they are completelysupportive and committed to this development,but we aren’t seeing bricks and mortar.”
Cr Dal Broi said after Patrizio Buanne’sfundraising concert this weekend, thecommunity fund will be “a few dollars”short of the $1 million target, provingcouncil and the Griffith community haveupheld their end of the bargain.
Executive director of St Vincent’sPrivate and Mater Hospitals RobertCusack said the negotiations concernedclinical services, food provision and Sterilisationservices.
“The board wants to make sure the hospitalis sustainable for the future beforesigning,” Mr Cusack said.
“We want to finalise it as soon as possible,but you can understand we need tomake sure the hospital will be sustainable,this is an important part of the work we’redoing.
“It’s about identifying where it makessense to have shared services (withGriffith Base Hospital) and those thingsrequire, like any commercial negotiation,an agreement on terms.
“The negotiations are well advanced,but I can’t specifically say when they willbe done.”
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