ORIGINALLY expected to be completed by mid-2021, the long-awaited expansion to the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children won’t be finished until at least September 2023.
The delay was revealed today (February 26) in Estimates Hearings, where the ACT government described the expansion as “complicated and challenging”.
Last year, following an inquiry into the project, the government announced it would add a $50 million early pregnancy unit to the expansion, which might be behind the delays.
As part of the unit, women with complications relating to early pregnancy, such as early pregnancy loss, will be able to access care.
But Opposition spokesperson for health, Giulia Jones, said today’s admission is simply the latest excuse from Labor and the Greens for their failures to deliver their health promises.
“Despite promises in 2017 that the expansion would be opening by now, this project which includes beds for adolescent mental health has been further delayed to late 2023, while there are families who can’t afford the high cost of private services who need it completed,” Ms Jones said.
“Labor and the Greens have been talking about expanding the Canberra Hospital for over a decade. In 2008, then Health Minister Katy Gallagher described an impending ‘health tsunami’ and in 2010 promised a major redevelopment of the Canberra Hospital.
“They promised at the 2016 election that the SPIRE Centre would be completed next year. But now, SPIRE will not be completed until 2024, or possibly even later.”
“CityNews” has contacted the government for comment.