Warranties run out at new hospital

Cathy O'Leary Medical Editor
Fiona Stanley Hospital. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Some equipment at Fiona Stanley Hospital is already out of warranty, only two months after the State's biggest hospital opened its first stage.

The State Government has confirmed that while no warranties expired before equipment was used, some had run out and more were due to expire today.

The Opposition says after cost blowouts and the hospital's delayed opening, the lack of warranties is another legacy of the Government's mismanagement of the project.

The $2 billion hospital was due to open in April this year, but the first stage - the State rehabilitation unit - did not open until October, and the hospital will not be fully operational until March.

A contract with Serco, the hospital's private operator of non-clinical services, had to be renegotiated, and there were costs of $118 million while the hospital had no patients.

Responding to Opposition questions, the Government said there were 1.5 million pieces of equipment at FSH, from basic items to complex medical gear.

Warranties on much of the equipment installed by managing contractor Brookfield Multiplex were due to expire today, while others had been extended or their start date delayed. Some specialised equipment such as water filtration systems and pneumatic tubes were not commissioned during construction so the warranties were still valid.

The State had passed on maintenance responsibility for many pieces of equipment to facilities manager Serco, which would carry out minor works and repairs at its own cost.

But Australian Nursing Federation State secretary Mark Olson questioned how hospital staff could do their job when equipment they and their patients relied on might not be immediately replaced or repaired because of warranty issues.

"FSH is meant to be a state-of-the-art facility but the equipment purchased for the original opening date has now been superseded," he said.