THE final funding hurdle for Griffith’s long-awaited private hospital is about to be jumped, with sources revealing a deal is on the brink of being signed between St Vincent’s and the NSW government.
Talks between the two parties have been at a stalemate in recent months over funding for a $3 million sterilisation unit for the Griffith Community Private Hospital.
But a well-placed source has told The Area News the state government has finally agreed to build a sterilisation unit at Griffith Base Hospital (GBH), which would be run by the private hospital but contracted back to GBH.
St Vincent’s spokesman David Faktor confirmed “very positive” talks had been held with the government on Tuesday but stopped short of saying a deal had been signed.
“We held very positive talks with the NSW government and we are confident of a resolution to this issue,” Mr Faktor said.
It is understood a verbal agreement was struck between the two parties, which could be formalised as early as next week.
The agreement would pave the way for Griffith City Council, which owns the private hospital land, to enter into a lease contract with St Vincent’s.
Mayor John Dal Broi said construction of the hospital would begin late this year or early 2014.
“We’re very encouraged by the comments made by St Vincent’s and we’ve been working very hard to try and achieve this result,” Cr Dal Broi said.
“(Council) staff have been working hard at a professional level and I’ve been working at a political level.
“We’re very happy with what we’ve heard from St Vincent’s and we have our fingers crossed it will receive a good outcome.”
Once an agreement is reached, Mode Designs will begin design work on the hospital.
An opening date of late 2014 or early 2015 is anticipated.
A public fundraising drive for the private hospital is also continuing apace, with close to $600,000 of the $1 million target already reached.