Health Minister Kim Hames moved yesterday to quash exclusive corporate tours - costing up to $55 - of the $2 billion taxpayer-funded Fiona Stanley Hospital after The Weekend West drew attention to multiple instances.
The State Opposition said it was outrageous the Government had almost allowed project insiders to profit from delays to the hospital, which was supposed to be open from April.
Behind-the-scenes tours at the state-of-the-art hospital have become a hot ticket in business circles amid high anticipation of the staged opening from October of WA's biggest building project.
The Australian Institute of Project Management has advertised a two-hour evening walk-through on Thursday, June 26, with the Health Department's own FSH project delivery director Geoff Zimmer as tour guide. Tickets range from $35 for student members to $55 for non-members.
The Melville-Cockburn Chamber of Commerce has also encouraged its members to sign up for a sneak peek early on June 26, operated by its sponsor and FSH services provider Serco, which is providing catering.
Offering tours for $20 for members and $40 for non-members, the MCCC's email flyer this week offered a chance to "see the much- anticipated robotic vehicles" that dispense medicine.
Dr Hames said last night that community and stakeholder engagement with the hospital was constructive and while the tours could proceed, "it is just not appropriate for any fee to be associated with a tour of a public hospital site".
He said during the past year several thousand people had toured FSH, including on open days in October and March when more than 5000 attended.
"Prior to the hospital opening in October, there will be a further opportunity for members of the public to tour it," Dr Hames said.
Shadow health minister Roger Cook said it should not have taken media queries to prompt Dr Hames to act, particularly when a key department bureaucrat was playing tour guide at the AIPM event.
"It's just outrageous that Serco should be taking favoured friends through a public building which is paid for with public money, particularly at a time when the only people who should be going through that building are patients," he said.
A Serco spokesman said it would still hold the tour and cover the not-for-profit MCCC's costs.