Western Australia Minister for Health Kim Hames
New Funds Will Help Build WA’s New Children’s Hospital
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia’s New State-of-The-Art Children’s Hospital will be totally funded by the State Government thanks to yesterday’s historic royalties’ agreement with mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Health Minister Kim Hames said the two companies would make a joint one-off payment to the State Government of $350 Million. The Government has decided this will be allocated to fund the construction of the New Children’s Hospital at the QEII Medical Centre site.
“This project was earmarked as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) where the Private Sector would fund construction of the hospital, and the State Government would lease it back.” Dr. Hames said.
“This new funding is an appropriate and inspiring way for the Government to use this one-off payment from the Mining Companies to make a return to the community, and will result in a reduction for the need of WA Health to lease the building back.”
Dr. Hames said the PPP model was a sound concept and may be used for future State Government projects.
Construction on the new children’s hospital is scheduled to start in 2012 and be completed in 2015.
The Minister said it was likely in the future some of the increased amount from the Iron Ore Royalties would also go towards to the hospital project.
In addition to the one-off payment, the new agreement changed BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto’s royalty rates from 3.75 % to 5.625 % to bring them in line with other iron ore producers. The change is expected to generate an additional $340 Million in State royalties for the 2010-11 financial year.
The new children’s hospital will replace aging Princess Margaret Hospital in Subiaco, which celebrated its centenary last year.
The new hospital will have more than 250 beds and house the State’s only Paediatric Trauma Centre and will provide Tertiary and Key Secondary Health Services including Inpatient, Ambulatory and Outpatient care.
“Planning for the hospital is already under way and we have even been consulting with young patients to make sure the new hospital meets their needs.” Dr. Hames said.
“We have also been consulting with parents, carers and non-government organisations to ensure this hospital is tailored to suit WA’s young children, their families and carers.”