Perth’s new children hospital will get an additional $35 million ward with 24 beds in an attempt to appease concerns by doctors and parents that the current design is not big enough.
But the State Government has ruled out adding extra storey, which could have cost up to $100 million and is a measure which the Australian Medical Association maintains is essential to “future-proof” the hospital.
Premier Colin Barnett and Health Minister Kim Hames made the announcement of the extra ward today, at the same time as they confirmed the new $1.2 billion paediatric campus in Nedlands will be known as Perth Children’s Hospital, the original name of the Subiaco hospital which opened in 1909.
Dr Hames said that while the loss of the State’s AAA credit rating had put pressure on Government spending, State Cabinet had made the decision not to add the extra floor because it was confident it could add the capacity needed within the current structure.
He said the new building site was 50 per cent bigger than that of the Princess Margaret Hospital site so it was possible to reconfigure it to provide extra beds.
The capacity of the hospital would increase from 274 beds to 298 beds, which was 24 more than the original design, and 48 more beds than at PMH.
The new 24-bed surgical ward would help free up other beds for specialties such as cancer, and give staff more flexibility.Shadow health minister Roger Cook said the Government was short-sighted by not adding an extra storey, given concerns by doctors that the $1.2 billion hospital will be too small from the time it opens in 2015.