The West

Hospital built on religious divide
Hospital built on religious divide

The Catholic health provider contracted to run Midland Health Campus is insisting a separate building be constructed to provide abortions, sterilisations and contraception, which cannot share any infrastructure with the public hospital.

Health Department bureaucrat Shane Kelly told a Budget estimates hearing today the religious requirements of St John of God Health Care created “issues which make for the development of infrastructure on that site problematic”.

The requirements are revealed in a department document inviting expressions of private sector interest run and potentially build the separate facility on “excised land” at the Midland site.

The building to provide what St John calls “restricted services” must have a separate entrance and car park away from any hospital entrance or car park, be separately fenced with no direct access from the hospital or car park and “not connected by any shared utility or infrastructure”.

Dr Kelly said the separate facility had not been contemplated when the project was first scoped and he did not know how much it would cost to build.

It was intended that the private sector would build it but it had not yet been confirmed that that would happen.

Labor MLC Amber-Jade Sanderson said there was potential for the facility providing restricted services to be “hidden away in a little corner and actually not identifiable with the hospital”.

Alyssa Hayden, parliamentary secretary to the Minister for Health, said she did not think signage or access would be a problem.

“St John of God operate hospitals now and have no problem with referring people round to where they need to go to get certain services. I don’t envisage there to be any other problems,” she said.

The West Australian

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